Alonso gets cryptic on Twitter amid speculation about his future

3 Comments

As speculation about his future with Ferrari continues to circulate, Fernando Alonso has sent out a cryptic tweet to deny some of the stories.

The two-time world champion joined Ferrari back in 2010, creating a partnership that was intended to take both the driver and the team back to the very top of Formula 1.

We’re now five seasons down the line, and neither has another world title to its name. Alonso has managed to get himself in the running for the championship on two occasions, only to lose out to Sebastian Vettel at the final race (2010, 2012), but the sub-standard Ferrari cars have given him little hope of beating the German driver and – now in 2014 – Mercedes.

For some time now, stories have been linking Alonso with a move back to McLaren, who is set to join forces with Honda once again in 2015. However, a report in Bild earlier this week said that the Spaniard would be willing to stay at Ferrari if his salary was doubled to nearly $50m per year, making him the highest-paid driver in the history of the sport.

Alonso took to Twitter yesterday to add his pennyworth to the stories.

For some time now, the Spaniard has denied all reports linking him with a move away from the team. In Germany, he denied having contact with any other team before laughing at the fact that his future has been speculated ever since his Renault days back in 2003.

“It’s the same question every year in July,” he said. “From 2003 I start, so eleven years. I didn’t talk with any team, and it’s not my priority.”

With silly season quickly gathering steam though, it will have to become his priority sooner or later.

Neuville wins Rally Australia; Ogier takes FIA WRC title

Sebastien Ogier. Photo: Getty Images
Leave a comment

COFFS HARBOUR, Australia (AP) Belgium’s Thierry Neuville won Rally Australia by 22.5 seconds on Sunday as torrential rain added drama to the last day of the last race of the World Rally Championship season.

Neuville entered the final day with an almost 20 second advantage after inheriting the rally lead Saturday when his Hyundai teammate, defending champion Andreas Mikkelsen crashed and was forced to retire for the day.

His lead was halved by Jari-Matti Latvala early Sunday as monsoon-like rain made conditions treacherous on muddy forest stages on the New South Wales coast. The rain stopped on the short Wedding Bells stage where Neuville was almost 5 seconds quicker than his rivals, stretching his lead to 14.7 seconds entering the last stage.

COFFS HARBOUR, AUSTRALIA – NOVEMBER 17: Thierry Neuville of Belgium and Nicolas Gilsoul of Belgium compete in their Hyundai Motorsport WRT Hyundai i20 coupe WRC during Day One of the WRC Australia on November 17, 2017 in COFFS HARBOUR, Australia. (Photo by Massimo Bettiol/Getty Images)

That stage was full of incident. The driver’s door on Neuville’s Hyundai i20 coupe swung open in the middle of the stage and Neuville had to slam it closed as he approached a corner.

Latvala’s Toyota then crashed seconds from the end of the stage, allowing Estonia’s Ott Tanak, in a Ford, to take second place overall and New Zealalnd’s Haydon Paddon, in a Hyundai, to sneak into third.

Sebastian Ogier was fourth after winning the final, power stage but the Frenchman had already clinched his fifth world title before Rally Australia began. Neuville’s win was his fourth of the season, two more than Ogier, and was enough to give him second place in world drivers’ standings for the third time in five years.

Ogier owed his drivers’ title to his consistency: he retired only once and finished no worse than fifth all season.

Neuville admitted the last day was touch and go as the rain made some stages perilous, forcing the cancellation of the second to last stage.

“That was a hell of a ride,” Neuville said. “Really, really tricky conditions.

“I kept the car on the road but it was close sometimes. I knew I could make a difference but I had to be clever. You lose grip, you lose control and the car doesn’t respond to your input.”