So at the end of the day, Ron Dennis and the McLaren top brass took a very deep breath, and then the decision to boot Fernando Alonso through the front door of their $400m Woking technology centre. Quite why it took them so long to get around to it is the only thing that I find mildly baffling. The double world champion's control over his future at McLaren had spiralled well out of his hands several months earlier by my estimation. Make no mistake, this decision was McLaren’s, and McLaren’s alone.

Word has it that, when asked where Alonso might go next, Ron said he didn’t know and couldn’t care less. Fernando’s manager may believe there will be a queue of teams waiting to sign up his man, but I’m really not sure what planet this guy is inhabiting. Alonso is badly damaged goods, he needs to realise that. All the other team principals in the pit lane will have watched aghast as the Spaniard’s blend of petulance and paranoia drove Ron and his co-directors to distraction.

In the end I don’t think he’ll go to Renault. I reckon he’ll end up at Toyota, where he’ll look cheap alongside the outgoing Ralf Schumacher’s $1m-a-race. The Japanese team is the most logical place because they can promise him the earth. Whether they ever deliver on that promise is another matter.

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