Fernando Alonso “knew” Ferrari would take a step forward in 2015. That is the claim of Carlos Gracia, the head of Spain’s motor racing federation. “People keep saying Fernando was wrong to go to McLaren,” he told the Spanish sports daily Marca ahead of the country’s home grand prix next weekend. Indeed, after five seasons of trying to win the title in red, 33-year-old Alonso left Ferrari at the end of last year to spearhead the new works McLaren-Honda project. But he is now buried in the midfield, while Ferrari’s resurgence has powered his successor Sebastian Vettel to title contention and the race win in Malaysia.
“Well,” Gracia said, “I think Fernando would also have won races with that car. Just look at the performance of Kimi Raikkonen last year and then this year to see that it is the car that has improved, not the drivers. Fernando knew that Ferrari was going to improve a lot this year,” Gracia insisted, “but his path was already made – due to many circumstances it was the end of a story.”
But now, many observers say Alonso obviously made a mistake to leave Ferrari just as it put its slumped performance and turmoil in the past. “I think differently,” said Gracia, “(and) that Alonso instead initiated a new way to create inspiration among the fans”. Now, Alonso is predicting that McLaren will make a big step forward at his home race in Barcelona, now that the team and Honda is kicking off the start of the European season. But, according to AS newspaper, he warned: “Let no one think that we will finish on the podium, but I hope that we will be better”.