Much has been written since the rumors started flying that Fernando Alonso was headed to McLaren regarding how wise this decision was, and much will be written over the coming months and well into the 2015 season over this decision. So why not add our own two cents?
There's no question that Fernando Alonso is one of if not the best driver currently on the race grid. In terms of sheer driver quality, McLaren's decision makes perfect sense. But it's more than just that. Alonso's preview stint with McLaren was disastrous. Besides not getting along with his team mate Lewis Hamilton or Team Principal Ron Dennis, Alonso added the final nail in the coffin regarding McLaren's involvement in the Spygate scandal.
While it's not unprecedented for a sports team to re-sign a top performing player who also creates a lot of drama on a team, it's another thing to re-sign a player who played a role in getting a team disqualified and costing them millions of dollars.
How many companies would re-hire an employee who didn't just leave on bad terms, but actually went as far as threatened to betray the trust of that company? That's not to say that McLaren's role in Spygate was correct, but Alonso had a role in bringing down the team. What company would consider re-hiring an employee after such a situation?
Along the same lines, a lot of hope and expectations have been pinned on McLaren's partnership with Honda. Yes, the two were a highly successful pair in the early '90s, but a lot has changed since the last time McLaren-Honda was the team name... Coming off a 2012 where McLaren had arguably the fastest car on the grid that was plagued by pitt lane issues, the team's changes for the 2013 season ruined the recipe. Instead of fighting for wins, McLaren was struggling to get into the top 5, and a team that looked so promising ended up without a single podium in 2013.
2014 again should have been a promising year, especially seeing the success that the Mercedes power unit enjoyed, not just with the Mercedes team, but with the resurgent Williams and even Force India. But instead the team struggled yet again, but the issue obviously wasn't with the engine, so what are the odds that 2015's McLaren Honda will be better than the previous cars? How likely is it that McLaren will be able to fix the their 2014 design issues so that the 2015 car has a fighting chance? How likely is it that McLaren's Honda power unit will get the opportunity to perform at it's highest levels when mated with McLaren's 2015 chassis?
We'll know in a few months....