Where will Alonso go next? Will he get what he wants this time around?
Fernando Alonso will probably switch to another team for 2018. Looking at the level of McLaren's performance for the last 3 years, it's no wonder that the 2 time world champion is looking for a seat in a more competitive team. Alonso's fans are at this moment the most depressed part of the Formula 1 fanbase.
There have been a lot of rumors in the last 3 months, when it became evident that McLaren will again fight Sauber, Haas and Renault, instead of Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes. Fernando was pretty clear that he will stay in the team if they give him a competitive package. So far, McLaren/Honda failed to deliver.
If you look at the top 4 teams, there are several options, some more realistic than others.
Red Bull is closed and there was no talk about Alonso joining them. Verstappen and Ricciardo are not very happy with the performance of the car, but they are both locked in for now. Dietrich Mateschitz was pretty clear on more than one occasion that they will keep their drivers.
Ferrari will most likely replace Kimi, even though he's doing a good job. They are probably looking at a younger, more aggressive driver for 2018. Alonso left Ferrari in 2014, for exactly the same reason - lack of competitive car. Some feel he closed that door for good. Others say that people with whome Alonso had problems all left Ferrari, and he could come back. I would say the best choice at this moment for Ferrari would be Ocon, who proved he can be as fast as Sainz, while also showing he is a team player.
Mercedes seems pleased with Hamilton and Bottas. Hamilton is probably among 3 fastest drivers on the grid, and in a powerful car like Mercedes, he wins championships. Bottas on the other hand proved he can be fast when Hamilton fails, and he can win races as well. He is a mature and fast driver, and can certainly win races if the team lets him. One thing is certain, there's a whole lot less tension in the team. If Alonso would join the team and drive alongside Hamilton, I'm sure it would not be smooth sailing.
Other options include Renault, who will most certainly replace Palmer. Jolyon seems a bit lost this season, and cannot find the performance he needs to match excellent Nico Hulkenberg. However, Renault chief was clear and very realistic when he said that they cannot provide a championship winning car for next season. Alonso probably does not aspire to fight in the middle of the pack.
The silly season will be very interesting as there are a number of desireable seats up for grabs. Key will be Ferrari, if they decide to replace Kimi. Tell us what you think in the comments below.