The big news today is that Fernando Alonso will stay with McLaren for 2018 combined with the stats for the championship battle in which Lewis Hamilton could clinch the 2017 Drivers Championship on Sunday in Austin.
Alonso stays at McLaren for 2018
Fernando Alonso will stay with McLaren for 2018, ending speculation that he could leave after what has been another disappointing season. After months of speculation, McLaren confirmed Alonso’s 2018 renewal ahead of the United States GP. The double world champion will now stay for a fourth successive year with McLaren and his fifth in total.
This means that McLaren have an unchanged line-up for 2018 with Stoffel Vandoorne and Alonso remaining as team-mates for a second season.
Alonso competed in this year’s Indy 500 driving for McLaren-Andretti, missing the Monaco GP. The option has been given to Alonso to try out other motorsport categories in his personal chase of the “Triple Crown” (winning Le Mans, the Indy 500 and the Monaco GP) for 2018 including the Indy 500 which again clashes with the Monaco GP.
One reason for Alonso extending his stay at McLaren was the news that Renault would supply the British team from 2018 instead of Honda. Alonso believes McLaren’s new engine deal with Renault will return the team to competitiveness next year after three difficult seasons with Honda. The link between the both is both of Alonso’s drivers titles he won back in 2005 and 2006 with Renault.
Ahead of the American GP, McLaren lie 9th in the Constructors Championship with 23 points. Vandoorne and Alonso sit in 15th and 16th in the standings with 13 and 10 points respectively.
Hamilton VS Vettel in Austin
Mercedes Lewis Hamilton comes into the American GP with a 59 point lead over Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel. Hamilton is the most successful driver here with 4 wins including the first race in 2012. Hamilton needs to out-score Vettel by 16 points on Sunday to clinch his 4th title. Hamilton can win the title by:
- By winning as if Vettel finishes 6th or lower.
- By finishing 2nd and if Vettel finishes 10th or lower.
The last 3 races for Vettel and Ferrari has collapsed in spectacular fashion in Singapore, Malaysia and Japan, and the team and driver have only themselves to blame. Vettel was part of the start line crash in Singapore and reliability has plagued the German in Malaysia and Japan. Vettel can keep the title a bit longer going into the Mexican GP if he keeps within close distance of Hamilton on Sunday.