Fernando Alonso will miss the season-opening Grand Prix in Australia and the Spaniard’s omission from the grid speaks volumes about McLaren’s dwindling chances of delivering a successful 2015 campaign.
Rather than being the team switch to reignite his World Championship chances, Alonso’s crash in pre-season testing which has kept him from competing in Melbourne on medical advice, has all-but ended slender hopes of a third drivers’ crown this season at least.
McLaren’s own switch to a new Honda engine has been cited as the root cause of the team’s testing troubles, culminating in the most limited track distance covered of any F1 team in Barcelona for the unfortunate Alonso and Jenson Button.
Other mechanical problems have plagued McLaren as a domino effect of incorporating the new power unit and aggregate lap times three-seconds adrift of pace-setters Mercedes make grim-reading heading Down Under.
Once again the Silver Arrows of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg will be the cars every other team will be aspiring to match for race pace, though Williams and Ferrari have both made gains on the nailed-on 1/14 constructors championship favourites.
Meanwhile, it was the reliable and quick Williams of Valtteri Bottas that caught the eye on the final day of testing when topping the timesheets.
Bottas, who finished fourth behind Daniel Ricciardo in last season’s standings, is already shaping up as a fine 3/1 chance to jump ahead of the pack in the seasonal betting without Mercedes.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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