My Pet Theory On Alonso's Defection to McLaren

Hello? Anyone here?

Yeah, that's what I thought. It's been awhile since anyone's posted, and so here's as good a place as any to share my thoughts, especially with F1 fans all in a flurry over the new cars, liveries, and driver lineups being launched. It's a theory I've had for awhile, actually.

Imagine you've just won the 2005 Formula One World Championship. Your car was the most reliable, and you've driven it to seven victories, with the rest of your finishes almost consistently within the top three. You're the youngest world champion in history, beating the reigning 7-time world champion, Michael Schumacher.

But despite your monumental triumph, nobody seems to want to credit you with this achievement.

Instead, a lot of people, media men, your peers, and fans, mutter that if McLaren Mercedes' car didn't blow up so often, your closest rival, Kimi Raikkonen, would have walked away with the title easily.

Your victory is somehow trivialized because many strongly suggest that the championship was lost by McLaren rather than won by you, and that the best driver did not win the 2005 World Championship, which was one of the most closely contested in recent memory.

That is my impression of how Fernando Alonso must have felt. He's young, he's hot-blooded, and like most competitive males (and even non-competitive ones) his ego can't take insinuations of his inferiority, especially not after he's won the world title.

And so, he boldly declared, I will go to McLaren (after my contract with Renault expires), where, all things being equal, I will SHOW everyone I am the better driver than Raikkonen.

Except that, scarcely after the ink had dried on his brand-new contract with Ron Dennis and co, McLaren started to suck. Whether it's because they had a bad year or because they were starting to feel the loss of uber-designer Adrian Newey, who left that year for Red Bull, they simply weren't up to snuff. They finished 2006 without a win, the first time in 10 years (which, coincidentally or not, is the last time they didn't have Adrian Newey as their designer).

And so Raikkonen, who once declared that he would always drive for McLaren as long as they had the fastest car, suddenly jumped the fence to Ferrari, who had been wooing him for years, to replace the retiring Michael Schumacher. It was Ferrari, after all, that had the consistently fastest car towards the second half of the 2006 season.

So now the scenario has Alonso and Raikkonen on different teams again. I won't discount Alonso's chances, because weird things can happen in Formula One, but one has to wonder what's going to happen now that Raikkonen, with his foot of lead, is driving a car that won't quit on him every other race.

If things go the way I think they might, will Alonso jump to Ferrari next year to prove his point?