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SBD Global/October 22, 2013/Franchises

McLaren Plans Attack On Red Bull, Vettel By Enticing Ferrari's Alonso To Return

F1 team McLaren "is reportedly planning a massive attack on Red Bull and driver Sebastian Vettel," according to Frank Schneider of BILD. At "the core of the plan is current Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso." The Spaniard has been chasing a third world championship title for four years with the Italian team. Despite a contract until '16, Alonso "is losing trust in the historic team." McLaren Team Principal Martin Whitmarsh "has been wooing him for weeks." In addition, Honda, which will return to F1 as McLaren's engine supplier in '15, is sweetening a possible deal for Alonso by reportedly paying half of the €25M ($34M) salary. The Japanese company "will supply McLaren with its engines free-of-charge." Therefore, the British team will be saving €20M ($27M) per year -- or €100M ($137M) during a five-year deal. It is money that team "is already investing." McLaren "has already hired two engineers from Red Bull's aerodynamics department." Mercedes Non-Exec Dir Niki Lauda said, "There's a new power emerging" (BILD, 10/19).
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