The mid season break is heading towards its end and there’s been plenty happening. The latest news has been expected yet still of sadness for F1 followers. Fernando Alonso, at the age of 37, has announced his retirement effective at the end of the 2018 season. It will also be the conclusion of his 17th competitive season in F1.
The rumours that swirled through the F1 paddock in the first half of the season all pointed towards a confirmation to be made. However it’s also a surprise as Alonso says: “”I made this decision some months ago and it was a firm one. There are still several grands prix to go this season, and I will take part in them with more commitment and passion than ever.”
Alonso has alluded to 2019 being a year of new challenges, which potentially could be again rumours being confirmed that he will make the move to IndyCar racing on a permanent basis.
Alonso started with the now defunct Minardi team at the 2001 Australian Grand Prix. He’s a double F1 championship winner, having taken the crown in 2005 and 2006. He’s placed second in the championship three times and has 32 wins, 22 pole positions, and has stood upon the podium 97 times so far.
Daniel Ricciardo’s move to Renault in 2018 is still clouded with acrimony. Part of this comes from within the team he’s signed with for the next two years, with team principal Cyril Abitetoul admitting that their own engine development hasn’t been as successful as it should have been.
“I believe indeed that we underestimated the potential of the current engine regulations, let’s put it this way,” Abiteboul said. “We are now four years into this engine regulation and after four years you would expect that you would see the flattening out of the development curve.”
Red Bull then seems to have potentially dodged the proverbial bullet with its decision to source powerplants from Honda. The current reliability issues and uncertainty about Renault’s engine development then hover over some of the Perth born driver’s decision to leave Red Bull. However Honda’s engines also haven’t been perfect so there’s question marks aplenty for both the team and the exiting driver.
Force India’s financial woes have been assuaged thanks to a buy-out lead by the father of F1 Williams team driver Lance Stroll. A consortium, and a powerhouse one at that, signed off on the buy-out in early August. Thankfully this also has resulted in over four hundred employees not losing the ir job, and all creditors are reported to have been fully paid out. This means the Silverstone, UK, based team, will be back out on track at the resumption of the season at the Belgian F1 GP at the end of August.