Alonso calls Button ‘the best teammate I ever had’

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Fernando Alonso says that Jenson Button is “the best teammate I ever had” following the Briton’s decision to step back from his McLaren Formula 1 race seat in 2017.

McLaren announced following qualifying at Monza on Saturday that Stoffel Vandoorne would partner Alonso for the 2017 season, with Button stepping back into a development and ambassadorial role.

Alonso joined Button at McLaren in 2015, the pair working together to help develop the Honda power unit and take McLaren up the grid.

Speaking at the announcement on Saturday at Monza, Alonso paid tribute to Button by calling him the best teammate he has had.

“I’ve been working with Jenson for the last two years. It was fantastic work,” Alonso said.

“Probably… not probably – I can say that he was the best teammate I ever had.

“In terms of performance, in terms of feedback with the engineers and the car development, it was great with him.”

Alonso is pleased that Button will still be playing a role at McLaren, having signed a two-year deal, but is looking forward to working alongside Vandoorne.

“We will have Jenson in the team which is the most important thing,” Alonso said.

“The best news of this change is that we will have Stoffel in the car with the fresh ideas and we will push the team to the maximum, but also we still have Jenson around us, helping us and giving all his contributions.

“So I think it’s very good news for the team for the future, and now we are ready and looking forward to Australia.”

There is an option for Button to move back into a race seat with McLaren for 2018, should both the driver and the team be willing, coinciding with the expiry of Alonso’s contract.

Alonso has long-stated that he will walk away from F1 after 2017 if the new-spec cars are not to his liking, with McLaren’s option with Button appearing to be a back-up plan should that happen.

Seattle Supercross by the numbers: Three riders separated by 17 points


Three riders remain locked in a tight battle with 17 points separating the leader Cooper Webb from third-place Chase Sexton and these are only a few Supercross numbers to consider entering Seattle.

Seattle Supercross numbers
Chase Sexton made a statement in Detroit with his second win of 2023. – Feld Motor Sports

For the fifth time in 10 rounds. Sexton, Webb, and Eli Tomac shared the podium in Detroit. Between them, the trio has taken 23 podiums, leaving only seven for the remainder of the field. Jason Anderson, Ken Roczen and Justin Barcia have two each with Aaron Plessinger scoring the other.

Webb and Tomac won the last four championships with two apiece in alternating years, but they were not one another’s primary rival for most of those seasons. On the average, however, the past four years show an incredible similarity with average points earned of 21.0 for Webb and 21.3 for Tomac. With five wins so far this season, Tomac (23 wins) leads Webb (19) in victories but Webb (43) edges Tomac (41) in podium finishes during this span.

Tomac has won two of the last three Seattle races and those two wins in this stadium are topped only by James Stewart. Fittingly, if Tomac gets a third win this week, he will tie Stewart for second on the all-time wins’ list. Tomac tied Ricky Carmichael for third with 48 wins at Oakland and took sole possession of that spot with his Daytona win.

Sexton still has a lot to say and after winning last week in Detroit, he is speaking up. The Supercross numbers are against him entering Seattle, however, because a points’ deficit this large after Round 10 has been erased only once. In 1983 David Bailey was 47 points behind Bob Hannah, and like Sexton he was also in third place. Bailey took the points’ lead with one race remaining.

The seven points Sexton was penalized last week for jumping in a red cross flag section in Detroit could prove extremely costly.

In fact, it has been a series of mistakes that has cost Sexton the most. In the last two weeks, he lost 10 points with a 10th-place finish to go with his penalty. Erase those, and all three riders hold their fate in their hands.

Plessinger’s heartbreak in Detroit is still fresh, but the upside of his run is that was his best of the season and could turn his fortunes around. Prior to that race, he led only seven laps in three mains. He was up front for 20 laps in Detroit with five of those being the fastest on the track.

Last week’s win by Hunter Lawrence tied him with his brother Jett Lawrence for 17th on the all-time wins’ list. With the focus shifting to 250 West for the next two rounds, Jett has a great opportunity to pull back ahead. The real test will be at the first East / West Showdown in East Rutherford, New Jersey on April 22.

Last Five Seattle Winners

2022: Eli Tomac
2019: Marvin Musquin
2018: Eli Tomac
2017: Marvin Musquin
2014: Ryan Villopoto

2022: Hunter Lawrence
2019: Dylan Ferrandis
2018: Aaron Plessinger
2017: Aaron Plessinger
2014: Cole Seely

By the Numbers

Anaheim 2
San Diego

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Chase Sexton wins in Detroit, penalized seven points