Alonso has sympathy for beaten Vandoorne

Fernando Alonso has called for a “deep investigation” into Stoffel Vandoorne’s recent woes after the Belgian was out-qualified once again in Germany.

Alonso currently leads Vandoorne 11-0 in the intra-team qualifying battle, but the two-time World Champion does not think that his team-mate is performing as badly as the stats suggest.

“I think he’s doing what he can,” Alonso said about Vandoorne.

“Definitely the last two races it seems that car has some kind of performance issue, and there are clear signs on the data that there is less downforce on that car.

“We’ve been changing some parts, and we need to go deep into that investigation because with both cars close to the points is always a little bit easier.”

Alonso qualified in P11 for the German Grand Prix, while Vandoorne was slowest of everyone and went out in Q1.

After calling the FP1 and FP2 sessions the worst Friday of his career, Vandoorne conceded that he is going through a tough time.

He said: “I think the situation is the same as Silverstone. Since we hit the ground in Silverstone, we were by far the last car and it turned out the same today.

“I can’t really tell anything more. It’s frustrating. We changed a lot of parts on the car and it still doesn’t work.

“Definitely I didn’t forget how to drive a car. But the cars are in a similar spec, it’s just that we can see an issue on the car.

“We’ve changed over a lot of parts already and at the moment we don’t really have a solution to just make it work normally.

“It’s not linked to the set-up at all. It’s something on the car that doesn’t work.

“We’ve almost changed everything on the car. We see the problem on the data. Right now we don’t have a solution.”

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Alonso to consider future ‘on the beach’

Fernando Alonso has said not to expect an announcement on his future before the 2018 summer break begins.

The pieces of the 2019 puzzle are beginning to fall into place after Mercedes’ double announcement that Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas will both be remaining with the team.

That will now have a trickle-down effect on the rest of the grid, with Alonso weighing up whether to quit Formula 1 altogether and pursue other opportunities in other racing categories.

While Red Bull are expecting a quick resolution to Daniel Ricciardo‘s future, we are going have to wait a little bit longer to find out what is in store for the two-time World Champion.

“I didn’t have time to think in June or July to be honest,” said Alonso, who has had the small matter of a Formula 1 triple header and the Le Mans 24 Hours race.

“I had quite an intense month.

“Probably in August, when I’m at the beach tanning, it will be time to think a little bit more.”

It was yet another low-key start to a grand prix weekend for McLaren, with Alonso and team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne largely running toward the back of the grid.

Alonso finished P12 in FP1 and then P17 in FP2 ahead of the German Grand Prix, 1.7 seconds down on the quickest Red Bull which has the same Renault engine.

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Alonso shrugs off K-Mag’s ‘Neymar’ complaint

Likened to football player Neymar, but not in a good way, Fernando Alonso has shrugged off Kevin Magnussen’s complaint about, well, his complaints.

The duo have been at it several times this season, their latest incidents taking place at the British Grand Prix.

Alonso accused Magnussen of twice trying to run him off the track in practice while in the grand prix felt the Haas driver had tried to push him into the gravel as he attempted to overtake him.

Magnussen feels Alonso complains too much.

“He does complain a lot on the radio,” he said. “But, I mean, we see it in other sports as well.

“Even great athletes like Neymar and stuff, they exaggerate a bit.”

Alonso has refused to get drawn into a war-of-words with the Dane.

“Nothing really to say, the past is the past,” said the McLaren man.

“I got the eighth place in the last laps so I was happy with that, the result didn’t change and the FIA thought differently that weekend.

“We move on. Everyone will race differently in their careers and I am very happy with my career and my results.

“I am two-times World Champion and he’s trying to get some points so I can’t answer everyone’s comments.”

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Alonso expects difficult German GP weekend

McLaren can expect a trying weekend at the Hockenheimring with Fernando Alonso saying it won’t be “an easy track” for their MCL33.

Although the Spaniard was back inside the points at the British GP, he was left to ponder what could have been had McLaren managed a better showing in qualifying.

Alonso raced from 13th on the grid to eighth at the chequered flag.

He has reiterated McLaren’s need to improve their Saturday pace.

“We know we need to work on our qualifying performances to give ourselves the best chance on Sunday, but we’ve also seen that during the race we can push forward and secure points, so the aim is to achieve the same in Germany next weekend,” Alonso said.

“I enjoy racing at Hockenheim and have won there three times so it’s great to be back after a break last year.

“The track is viewed as one of the classics, it’s fun to drive and there are a couple of overtaking opportunities – and an extra DRS zone this year – so hopefully we can fight with the cars around us.”

Germany marks the first of two races in a double-header with Alonso acknowledging that the two extremely different tracks, the Hockenheimring and the Hungaroring, mean extra work as they involve very different set-ups.

And while he is hopeful for Germany, he says it could be a difficult weekend for McLaren.

“The next couple of races before the summer break are on very different tracks. We need to work hard, and do as much as possible to adapt our set-up for each of them to maximise our chances.

“We know this weekend won’t be an easy track for us but we’ll give it our best as always.”

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Alonso not in favour of revising points system

Fernando Alonso does not support a proposal to award points to every car that finishes a grand prix, saying it would detract from the miracles such as Jules Bianchi’s P9 in Monaco.

According to Force India owner Vijay Mallya, Formula 1 is considering a new points-scoring system.

Instead of only the top ten scoring, every car that crosses the line would be awarded points all the way down to 20th place.

Alonso doesn’t believe this is a good idea.

The Spaniard cited Jules Bianchi’s incredible ninth placed finish with Marussia at the 2014 Monaco Grand Prix as his reason why.

“The leading drivers always get points and so it can be a great moment if you get 2 points,” he told Germany’s sport.de.

“I remember when Jules was ninth in Monaco and scored points, which was a miracle and a great moment for the sport.”

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Renault won’t ‘encourage’ Alonso rumours but…

Renault may not want to “encourage” rumours Fernando Alonso could return to the team with whom he won two World titles but “could still reach” a deal with the Spaniard.

According to Formula 1’s rumour mill, Renault has emerged as one of Alonso’s options for next season.

While it does seem as if a swap to IndyCar is more likely should he decide not to stay on at McLaren, there is speculation that he could yet return to Renault, albait briefly.

The team, though, is not particularly interested in talking on a new driver for just one season.

Then again, that driver is Alonso.

Team boss Cyril Abiteboul told Marca: “I don’t want to encourage that rumour.

“I think Fernando first has to decide what he wants to do for himself, whether he wants to continue driving in F1 or not.

“We have a lot of respect for Fernando, but we are more interested in drivers who want to be with us in the long term.”

But, he added, “we could still reach an agreement with Alonso, but doing it for a year would not make sense.”

Abiteboul hinted that Renault will most likely to retain their current line-up of Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz.

“We are not in a hurry and we also have to see what are the side effects of the [Red Bull] decision on the engine but we are improving and I think that is clear for everyone, for the press, for the fans and especially for the drivers.

“There is interest on the part of several drivers who want to race for us but in general the drivers we have work well and we would like to keep them.

“But I am also calm in the sense that, if we have a good car and progress as a team, we will have a selection of drivers who want to be with us.”

Read More: How Brown’s McLaren dream became a nightmare

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Alonso unimpressed with ‘soft’ stewarding

Fernando Alonso feels the British GP stewards were “soft” at Silverstone after failing to penalise Kevin Magnussen for his latest antics.

Fresh from Friday’s troubles in which Alonso accused Magnussen of trying to hit him not once but twice, the two again found themselves racing wheel-to-wheel during Sunday’s 52-lap race.

Battling for position, Alonso felt Magnussen pushed him into the gravel as he attempted to overtake him.

“The incident was at Turn 7, I went around the outside and when I came back to the normal line I was pushed off, into the gravel,” Alonso said.

“We’ve been told you have to leave room for the other car but some don’t and nothing happens.

“And then, as we were stuck behind a big group there was no possibility to attack those at the front of that group.

“I think we lost at least one place, but at the end we finished ahead of Magnussen, anyway.”

Alosno later overtook the the Haas driver, finishing eighth while Magnussen was ninth on the day.

The double World Champion added to ESPN: “He fought hard, like he always does, and the FIA was a little soft today, in my opinion.

“It was fine as in the last lap I could re-overtake him, so in the end there was maybe not a big difference in terms of position, so I’m happy for that, happy with the position, and with getting more points for the team.”

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