The McLaren Formula 1 team have shortlisted Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen to replace Fernando Alonso from the 2019 Formula 1 season, should the double world champion walk away from the struggling outfit at the end of 2018.
Alonso joined the McLaren Formula 1 team in 2015 when it signed to run Honda Formula 1 engines, however the double world champion endured three years of struggle with a ‘slow and unreliable’ Honda engine. However, despite running in a “back marker” car for two years, Alonso stayed on for the 2018 Formula 1 season after McLaren ditched Honda engines for Renault engines.
Despite the change, there has been little improvement in McLaren’s form, as they currently sit fifth in the F1 constructors’ championship, and were one of the slowest cars at the last race in France, which means there is a high likelihood Fernando Alonso will depart at the end of the 2018 Formula 1 season.
Elsewhere, it is understood that Ferrari are keen to sign Sauber Formula 1 rookie Charles Leclerc alongside Sebastian Vettel for the 2019 Formula 1 season after the Monégasque driver displayed impressive form at the start of his F1 campaign with Sauber.
The end result of that would mean that Kimi Raikkonen would be axed by Ferrari, and McLaren are keen on signing the Finn if Fernando Alonso departs at the end of the season, the Daily Mail reports. In the days building up to the French Grand Prix, it was revealed that McLaren made a ludicrous offer to Daniel Ricciardo to sign for the 2019 Formula 1 season, however it is unlikely the Australian will sign, given McLaren’s current form and stability.