McLaren have had an interesting time lately. They have lost Lewis Hamilton to Mercedes in a dramatic bidding war, but managed to pick up one of the most exciting prospects on the grid in Sergio Perez.
While there has been plenty of media speculation about life at McLaren, a number of drivers have taken it upon themselves to share their opinions with the world.
Fernando Alonso delivered a savage broadside at the Woking team. After spending a turbulent year with McLaren in 2007, Alonso left after his contract was terminated by mutual agreement.
Alonso was caught up in the McLaren-Ferrari spying scandal, but also accused the team of giving Lewis Hamilton preferential treatment.
This week, when asked to comment on the Hamilton move to Mercedes, ESPN F1 quotes Alonso:
For McLaren, [Alain] Prost was going out, [Ayrton] Senna; it was me, now it's Lewis, and usually for a better life, for good change. McLaren is 14 years not winning the constructors' championship, most of these years sometimes with the best car, so I'm sure Lewis wants to win as well.
Apparently Fernando doesn’t subscribe to the "forgive and forget" philosophy.
Sergio Perez, by contrast, is unsurprisingly glowing in his praise. The F1 Times reports the Mexican’s answer at the FIA pre-race press conference:
I think with McLaren there is no other option [than to win]. You have to win every race. You have a car with which you can win every race. It's a guarantee: McLaren is always a guarantee. So I have to work very hard. I have to give everything to my team and I'm ready to do that, once I have finished this season.
I wonder what he thinks guarantee means. Perhaps he should ask Hamilton what he thought about the guarantee in Singapore.
Meanwhile, the man of the hour, Lewis Hamilton has come out with one of the most bizarre statements of the season.
After what appears to have been a rather acrimonious negotiation with McLaren and after looking decidedly unhappy at the last two races, Hamilton is now filled with love and admiration for his soon-to-be former employer.
After the first two practice sessions for the Japanese Grand Prix, ESPN F1 quotes him:
I hope it's even better than now. Today's been a stress-free day, it's just been really about focusing on the car, trying to really improve, making sure that we make the right turns set-up wise; I love it. I love driving the car and there's nowhere else I'd rather be.
One presumes that he means nowhere else other than Mercedes. Otherwise he has some serious explaining to do.