Whitmarsh still keen to sign Alonso but manager claims reports are fiction

Martin Whitmarsh with Fernando Alonso and team principals from the Spaniard's career

Martin Whitmarsh with Fernando Alonso and various team principals involved in the Spaniard’s career

McLaren have not given up on signing Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso for its new Honda-powered era beginning in 2015, with team boss Martin Whitmarsh apparently ramping up his efforts to lure the Spaniard back to the Woking outfit.

Whitmarsh, who openly tried to woo the Spaniard back to McLaren for the 2014 season, this week skipped attending the prestigious Autosport Awards in order to travel to Madrid, where Alonso was launching an exhibition featuring the memorabilia of his entire racing career collected by his father.

Indeed, Whitmarsh was photographed with Alonso alongside representatives of the two-time world champion’s other Formula 1 bosses, including Giancarlo Minardi, Stefano Domenicali and Flavio Briatore.

Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso were McLaren teammates in 2007

Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso were McLaren teammates in 2007

Daily Mail correspondent Jonathan McEvoy said Whitmarsh was so keen to attend Alonso’s exhibition that he delegated McLaren’s managing director Jonathan Neale to collect the trophy in London to mark the team’s 50th year in Formula 1.

“It is understood that Whitmarsh is keen to develop a channel of communication to Alonso with an eye on bringing in the Spaniard for the 2015 season,” said McEvoy.

The news ties in with the latest comments made by Formula 1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone, who commented that he was disappointed with Alonso’s performance for Ferrari this year.

“I thought he gave up a little bit, which is proof that he was looking for another team,” Ecclestone wrote in the foreword to the official 2013 season review.

Luis Garcia Abad with Fernando Alonso and girlfriend Dasha Kapustina

Luis Garcia Abad with Fernando Alonso and girlfriend Dasha Kapustina

But at the very same time, Alonso’s manager Luis Garcia Abad denied that the 32-year-old has already agreed to move to Honda-powered McLaren for 2015.

“What you’re saying is Formula 1 fiction,” Abad, also in Madrid, told Spanish radio Marca.

“You cannot have two signed contracts, as when you sign one, you must notify the body that controls it. So it is technically impossible. And an unsigned agreement is not an agreement.”

Asked if Alonso intends to fulfil the terms of his entire Ferrari contract, which runs to 2016, Abad answered: “Fernando has said the same this year in three press conferences in different languages.” (GMM)

Subbed by AJN.

  • gracias

    Luis Garcia Abad looks like jafar panahi, a famous iranian movie director..LOL

  • sebolonso

    Whitmarsh is not trying to grabb Alonso, but Santander account, that in this case includes their paydriver.

  • AFA

    Alonso has repeatedly claimed that Ferrari is going to be his last team, but if Ferrari really want to get Vettel for 2015, there’ll clearly be no place for him in the team!

    If McLaren built a really good car for 2014 AND can offer him a generous paycheck AND have a second driver that is guaranteed will not out qualify him AND decide to get more in favour of team orders, THEN he may seriously consider their offer!!

  • Shin

    Let’s be clear, Alonso will give Ferrari one more year to prove they can provide him a championship winning car. This is not some sort of fantasy, it’s plain fact, and the whole paddock knows it, including Bernie.

    If Alonso is really competing for the championship next year, then he will stay at Maranello till 2016. If however he’s in the exact same situation @ mid-2014 as he was this year with this car, you can bet on it that he will sign a multi-year contract with McLaren-Honda starting 2015.

    He wants at least a third championship (like his childhood hero Senna), and preferably four like Vettel before he retires. And we all know where Senna achieved his championships.

  • LotusFan

    If Ferrari dont build a car with which Alonso can fight all season long in 2014 and McLaren have a decent car in 2014, Alonso will go to McL. And he is wholly justified in doing so.

  • Butterfly


    Yeah, and I think both McLaren and Ferrari know it.

    Ross Brawn, too, perhaps?

  • GreenHell

    @LotusFan: In which year Ferrari did not build a car in which Alonso could fight all season long?

  • troy

    Senna and McLaren…….or maybe Alonso will go to the team that helped Shumacher win 5 more titles……oh wait..hes already at that team

    Its been tantalizingly close for Alonso especially 2010 and 12′ …I suspect Ferrari gave up this year after half season to wholly devote all efforts to the 2014 car….it been hard to watch him soldiering on for no potencial of reward this year……gutted in fact

    I doubt very much he would commit to any other team at this stage with so much uncertainty at stake….much less than one with a engine that will even more unproven that the V6 T’s will be after this year….

    Yep Honda has been good, peerless in fact at times……but they have also got it wrong and OD’ed a lot of engines too…..

    I think stability is the name of the game this upcoming year…….but next year the cards are wild

  • AFA

    Come on, only the 1988 McLaren-Honda was perfect. Just because they had a good partnership and achieved great results in the past, we don’t know for sure it will happen second time round, do we?

  • mike

    I find it quite amusing Alonso’s typical bitterness when things are not going his way, this time purposely setting up his own “collection” show in Madrid and not going to the Autosport awards

    of course it’s the awful FIA and all the tyre changing’s fault, Fernando will show them by having his own party!

    also FIA’s fault on Bitterlonso’s career – 2007 Hamilton/Ron Dennis, 2010 Vitaly Petrov, 2012 Adrian Newey

  • matthew

    @AFA of course there will be room for alonso in 15 even if they get seb. kimi is not faster than seb or alonso and he’s getting older. I would bet good $ that any team in f1 would pick seb and alonso over one of them with kimi. I don’t intend to put down kimi (great driver), but its true.

  • Darren

    I just don’t see this happening. Alonso falling out was pretty bitter and it was very costly to McLaren with that $100 million odd fine with spygate etc.

    If true however it would mean Button if he has a car that can win will need to win the championship if he wants to stick around.

  • stoner

    what’s true?
    if you see Kimi vs Alonso, Kimi is way faster than Alonso. Especially in qualifying, he has always qualified higher than Alonso in most occasions. Car’s maybe different but its known by everyone that Kimi can push beyond the limits of the car. One of the most naturally talented driver’s, and that does not go off easily with age, BTW Alonso is not in his 20’s, he is just as old as Kimi is. Although Kimi is the faster one between the 2 any day. Fastest lap of the race, Circuit records, pole position’s, Kimi has it better than Alonso. Alonso does not even have a circuit record in any of the F1 tracks. All he has is 2 WDC titles which is shrouded with controversies(banned mass damper, known cheater and team principle Flavio Briatorie) and largely due to the fact that the McLaren which Kimi drove was most unreliable car with maximum DNF’s.
    now in the case of Seb vs Kimi, Seb could be faster but definitely alonslow is no match for both of them, if you’re talking about speed. Although Alonso is better with his mind games, whining about car and politics.

  • Butterfly


    Kimi is probably faster than Alonso at partying or drinking booze, but not driving, mate.

    Time for the Spaniard to demolish the Finnish myth. I’m going to enjoy this one.

    How is Kimi faster than Alonso when Massa was faster than Kimi and Alonso thrashed Massa for four years in a row? Your logic makes no sense whatsoever.

  • AFA


    There’s no way Alonso and Vettel can survive in a team together mainly because Alonso has BIG issues with not being the No.1 driver in the team and because both of them would be having problems with team orders! Would you ever imagine Vettel obeying a “Fernando is faster than you” order or Alonso obeying a “Sebastian is faster than you” order?

    Having Vettel and Alonso in the same team would be catastrophic! Kimi and Alonso is fine simply because Kimi doesn’t give a sh*t about Alonso’s politics!

  • Jules

    My guess…Magnussen and Alonso at McL in 2015? This time round, they will play by Alonso’s rules.

  • Stoner


    Yeah we will see it next year, waiting for it since 2005.
    Massa is no good , but still he managed to out qualify Alonso on many occasions.
    And BTW Kimi faired better than Massa until the team started to build cars that suit massa and clearly support him.
    I know you just blindly talk Bullcrap, always praising Alonso and his BS.
    People will know next year. i would have a huge laugh at alonslow next year his minions

  • F1 Fan

    I agree with Stoner.. Alonso era is ended.

  • Stoner

    And there is no point in explaining logic and actual facts to trolls who just don’t give a $hit about what the truth is becoz they are alonslow trolls, just like him, trolling others

  • matthew

    @stoner we all get it, your an alonso hater and a kimi lover. Thats fine, but calling people trolls because they disagree with you is being a troll. Nice work. At least @AFA disagreed and replied with a rational post!

  • fools

    “Let’s be frank, people want to sign Fernando Alonso because he is one of the best motor racing drivers in the world at the moment,” Whitmarsh told Sky Sports News in September.

    “He is an asset to any team.”

  • stoner

    Sorry, i would have over reacted, i retract from my last comment :-)

  • stoner

    But i still disagree with matthew’s comments on Alonso vs Kimi. To me he is still the guy who bought in his seat to Ferrari with Santander bank money. A pay driver who was no match to Kimi in his McLaren days. On the other hand Kimi was hired by Ferrari to replace Schumacher on a record salary. That shows how people regarded both the drivers. Next year is going to fun and i am excited as the days where Kimi thrashing Alonso in the same car is nearing. He actually tried to runaway this year to Red Bull but didn’t work out.

  • Marybeth

    It would be a little awkward for Alonso to be opening his museum in Madrid with all of that Ferrari red showing & at the same time be leaving for McLaren….

  • Hawk

    I for sure do not know where Stoner and F1 fan are going to hide come mid to end next season

  • stoner

    The only reason i am going to watch next year is to see Kimi Thrash Alonso on track, any ways this sport is getting boring, V6 is joke, cars have slowed down over the years. Be ready Nando fans, butterfly, hawk, fools and all the other alonslow fans.