McLaren F1’s Zak Brown Opens up on His Relationship with Fernando Alonso Following His Stint with the Team

January 3, 2021 2:40 pm

It is almost time to see one of the great F1 drivers in Fernando Alonso make his return to the sport. The two-time champion comes back to his first team Renault, which now takes the form and shape of a new brand called ‘Alpine F1.’

Alonso has many friends and acquaintances in the paddock, McLaren CEO Zak Brown considers himself as one of them. The American boss worked with the Spaniard at the Woking-based outfit for a period of nearly three years.

Speaking in an interview, Brown has revealed that he is happy to see an old compatriot back in the sport. The McLaren boss also considers Alonso a ‘great racer’ owing to his contributions in Formula 1.

Consider Alonso a ‘very good’ personal friend of mine, says Brown

Brown stated, “I’m very happy for Fernando.” (translated via Google Translate)

Following his departure from Ferrari in 2014, Alonso joined McLaren with the hope of adding to his race wins and titles tally. Roughly a year later, Brown also entered the racing company in an Executive Director’s capacity.

SPA, BELGIUM – AUGUST 24: Fernando Alonso of Spain and McLaren Honda talks in the Paddock during previews ahead of the Formula One Grand Prix of Belgium at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in Spa, Belgium. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

“I consider Fernando to be a friend of McLaren and a very good personal friend of mine. I wish we would have had more success on the track together because he’s a great racer,” concluded Brown.

Alonso’s final couple of seasons at McLaren did not go particularly well. Considering the team were underperforming, the car’s performance also directly impacted the Spanish driver’s results.

Fernando Alonso at Alpine could well prove to be a direct threat to McLaren

Having returned with his boyhood team, so to speak, Fernando’s aims with Alpine are quite simple. The French team came quite close in their pursuit for midfield supremacy in 2020, and they can do it in 2021 too.

Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – Renault’s Esteban Ocon during practice REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed/Pool

Alonso naturally comes with a stacked reputation over several years and will aim for top-five and podium finishes. Undoubtedly, in his way to achieving that objective will be McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris.

Therefore, a fascinating battle between McLaren and Alpine is on the cards for the new season. While Alonso will have fond memories of his former team, his racing intentions will need to get the better of him.

Bhargav Gopal

Hailing from Bengaluru, Bhargav is an F1 and NASCAR author for EssentiallySports. He is a huge fan of Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing. Bhargav also has an MBA in Sports Management from the Symbiosis School of Sports Sciences, Pune. Bhargav is quite a genius in his field, having won the All-India Marketing Case Study Competition 2015. He also loves to combine his love for marketing and sports by taking part in competitions like Knockout: Sports Marketing Case Study by IIM Ahmedabad.

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