Former Formula 1 team owner and driver manager Flavio Briatore is confident that two-time world champion Fernando Alonso has a better future with McLaren than one Ferrari could have offered him.
After five happy but unsuccessful years with Ferrari, Alonso parted company with the team at the end of the 2014 season and rejoined McLaren, with whom he had spent one acrimonious year back in 2007.
Based on the results so far this season, the decision may appear to have been a poor one. McLaren has suffered its worst ever start to a grand prix campaign, scoring its first points in Monaco last weekend, whilst Ferrari has moved close to Mercedes at the front of the field and won a race.
Speaking to Reuters in Monaco last weekend, Briatore – who still works as Alonso’s manager – said that he was confident the Spaniard had made the right decision and that Ferrari was in fact no better off than it had been in 2014.
“[Sebastian] Vettel was seven tenths from Lewis [Hamilton in qualifying] and last year Fernando was fifth and seven tenths [behind],” he said.
“Between Ferrari and Mercedes it is the same distance. The problem is three or four teams are not there any more. With Honda and McLaren, we have a better future.
“He is happy to be staying at McLaren now. I don’t understand why you guys think it’s a lot of pressure. Drivers like this are very lucky people.
“Maybe you have pressure to pay the rent at the end of the month but these people have no pressure at all.”
Alonso is yet to score any points since joining McLaren, with the technical issues that are blighting the MP4-30 car forcing him to retire when running inside the top ten in Monaco last weekend.
However, as detailed by MotorSportsTalk earlier this month, the Spaniard does seem far happier and more comfortable with McLaren, even if he lacks the points to truly justify it yet.