NO QUICK SUCCESS: Given McLaren's performance in 2014 it might be a while before Fernando Alonso, back with the team in 2015, achieves a win. Image: AFP / Alexander Nemenov
LONDON, England - One of Fernando Alonso's former team mates doubts his high-profile switch from Ferrari to McLaren will result in instant success.
Jarno Trulli, Alonso's team mate at Renault more than a decade ago, did however think the end of the five-year partnership with Ferrari was inevitable.
Trulli said: “After five years of marriage to Ferrari that did not result in a world championship, as Fernando had expected, it was normal that the end came.
"Both sides Fernando and Ferrari, he added, wanted to win races and titles.”
'BETTER OPTION FOR ALONSO'
Trulli, a winner at Monaco, was speaking to Spain's EFE news agency from Buenos Aires where, as a team owner and driver, he is preparing for the next Formula E race.
Trulli said: "It was the natural end of a relationship but now Fernando is at McLaren and, unfortunately, it doesn't look to be a better option for Alonso than Ferrari.
“At the moment, there is nowhere better to be if not at Mercedes.
"There are very few options. The quality of F1 has suffered a dramatic decline in performance. Only a few teams can afford to develop engines and cars because budgets are very high and the economic situation is not helping.
"That leaves you with very few options, and that's the situation Fernando is in now. It is a difficult situation and hard to accept, even for him, because he obviously wants to fight for victory. 2015 is going to be another tough season at McLaren - I don't wish that for him but it does not look good."
ENGINE 'FREEZE' POLITICS
Trulli suggested that the political situation for McLaren's new engine supplier, Honda, which has been left out of the controversial development engine 'unfreeze', is yet another problem.
He said: "For now I think the only good thing is that Fernando is going to be paid well. But on the technical side, I do not see McLaren being able to match the two or three best teams."
Trulli did, however, see one positive for Alonso: he would likely not overly regret his decision to leave Ferrari.
He said: “It’s been difficult times for them (Ferrari) changing people, taking wrong decisions. The team did not benefit from the rule changes and lags behind technically, and - until recently - politically.
"Now the team needs to turn around the technical side completely. You don't do that in a day. Not even in a year - it takes a long time."
Trulli tipped Mercedes to dominate yet again in 2015: “Mercedes has an enormous advantage and the others are not going to catch up yet - Mercedes still had something up its sleeve in 2014."