Alonso: Only McLaren or Mercedes capable of giving me third F1 title

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Fernando Alonso believes that only McLaren or Mercedes are capable of giving him a car to win a third Formula 1 drivers’ championship.

Alonso won back-to-back world titles with Renault in 2005 and 2006, but is still yet to claim a third championship despite tenures with McLaren in 2007, Renault again in 2008 and 2009, Ferrari from 2010 to 2014 and McLaren for a second time since last season.

The Spaniard scored points on just two occasions in 2015 as McLaren struggled during power unit supplier Honda’s comeback season, and any hopes of a third world title still seem some way off.

However, Alonso remains certain that he made the right decision to leave Ferrari after 2015, believing McLaren to be the only team that is capable of winning the title besides the currently-dominant Mercedes team.

“I was right [to leave]. I was right because I felt I was right,” Alonso said.

“In 2014 I made the decision and had two years more on my contract, but felt I was right to go. Whatever results they achieve in 2015 and 2016 or in the future, my time there was fantastic and I wanted to finish on that fantastic feeling.

“Every year was a little bit more stress because you are not winning and it seems that it is your fault.

“Now it is not a relief that they are not winning or having more problems, I don’t wish any problems on Ferrari because it is a team that I will always have in my heart.

“But in terms of driving, how competitive or my third world championship hopes, then you drive for Mercedes or McLaren-Honda.

“That is my opinion and the feeling from that decision.”

Alonso currently sits 13th in the drivers’ championship after 12 races in 2016, scoring more than double his haul from the entire 2015 campaign.

Ganassi announces multiyear sponsorship extension with American Legion for No. 10

Chip Ganassi American Legion
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Chip Ganassi Racing announced a new primary sponsorship deal with The American Legion this week, shoring up the funding on its No. 10 Dallara-Honda of Alex Palou.

The 2021 NTT IndyCar Series champion primarily had driven with NTT Data sponsorship the past two seasons. But NTT Data will move next season to McLaren Racing as a primary sponsor for Felix Rosenqvist in 10 races and on the Indy 500 car of Tony Kanaan (who drove an American Legion car for Ganassi at the Brickyard last year).

It was the latest twist in a McLaren-Ganassi saga that included a contract dispute for the services of Palou (who is expected to move to McLaren in 2024 after reaching an agreement to race with Ganassi next year).

Ganassi stayed within its own walls to help plug the sponsorship gap left by NTT Data, re-signing The American Legion to a multiyear extension. The Indianapolis-based non-profit organization, which has been sponsoring Ganassi cars for the past few seasons, also will be associated with other Ganassi drivers, including Indy 500 winner Marcus Ericsson and development driver Kyffin Simpson in Indy NXT.

The Ganassi organization will continue promoting The American Legion’s “Be The One” campaign aimed at reducing veteran suicides. The team launched an online auction for the initiative this week.

“Supporting our nation’s veterans is of immense importance to our organization and we are humbled to continue supporting The American Legion’s mission in ending veteran suicide,” team owner Chip Ganassi said in a release. “We will do absolutely everything we can to help veterans get the support they need while raising public awareness of the ‘Be The One’ platform.”

“We have received an overwhelming amount of support from fans, active-duty military members and veterans as a result of this partnership and we’re pleased to see it grow,” said Dean Kessel, chief marketing officer at The American Legion. “Thanks to the continuous collaboration with the team’s other partners, and the promotion of the ‘Be The One’ initiative, we are discovering more ways to engage with the military community than ever before. We want all veterans to know that it’s okay to ask for help.”