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Alonso to leave F1: Who will replace Fernando at McLaren?

14 Август 2018 20:34

Lando Norris is among the leading candidates to replace Fernando Alonso at McLaren next year following confirmation the Spaniard is leaving Formula One.

Alonso, a two-time F1 world champion, announced on Tuesday he will not be returning in 2019 after 17 years in the sport.

With Stoffel Vandoorne also yet to nail down his seat for next season, McLaren could potentially be seeking two new drivers.

We look at those they could consider as a replacement for Alonso.

 

LANDO NORRIS

Shortly after Alonso's departure was confirmed, McLaren's test and reserve driver Norris tweeted a Batman GIF with the caption 'HMM!!! INTERESTING!!!', suggesting he could be line to fill the void.

The British teenager is currently second in the Formula Two standings and has been tipped to follow the path set by multiple world champion and former McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton.

Chief executive Zak Brown recently revealed in an interview with Autosport that three F1 teams had approached McLaren about Norris but they were uninterested in letting him go.

The time to promote him may have arrived.

 

CARLOS SAINZ JR

Even before news of Alonso's exit was confirmed, Sainz had been linked with a move to McLaren for the next campaign.

Sainz has been on loan with Renault from Red Bull but will not be there next year following Daniel Ricciardo's shock decision to make the same move on a permanent basis.

Red Bull are favourites to secure the Spaniard for 2019, but McLaren cannot be ruled out of the running.

PIERRE GASLY

Promising Frenchman Gasly, 22, has impressed in his full F1 season with Red Bull's sister team Toro Rosso and, like Sainz, may be in line for a promotion with his parent team.

However, with Max Verstappen remaining at Red Bull in 2019, there will only be one spot left to fill, meaing at least one of Sainz and Gasly is set to be available.

While Sainz has been out-scored by his Renault team-mate Nico Hulkenberg so far this year, Gasly has easily got the better of Toro Rosso colleague Brendon Hartley.

 

KIMI RAIKKONEN

According to Brown, having two promising-but-inexperienced drivers in 2019 "wouldn't be a great place to be" so McLaren could well choose an F1 veteran to replace Alonso.

That could bring Raikkonen into consideration as the Finn's deal with Ferrari is up.

Raikkonen, who turns 39 in October, drove for McLaren for five seasons between 2002 and 2006, twice finishing as a runner-up in the championship standings.

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