Half term holidays done, summer holidays finished now it's back to work and the serious stuff.

And what a place to resume the 2018 Formula 1 season. At one of the most beautiful, demanding and unpredictable of all the world's circuits, the Circuit De Spa Francorchamps set deep in the Ardennes forests of Belgium.

The various school classes, form masters and students are pretty much the same as before the half term break but some, notably Daniel Riccardo, Fernando Alonso and Carlos Sainz have already decided that they want a new house, with a new head teacher, next term and will be joining a whole new classroom for 2019.

One of them, an ex head boy is even leaving the school altogether as his particular class have failed dismally to achieve the grades he expected so he is going to try a totally new campus.


Some good news as well for young French boy Pierre Gasly who seems to have passed his exams and has gone from intermediate school to 'Big Boys' school.

At the time of writing, those four boys are the only ones to have announced their intentions to change allegiance but the whole playground is awash with the boys' guardians frantically searching for the best deal or the best prospectus for the future.
Some of those guardians are simply trying to keep their boys in school and not be expelled.

In the meantime there are still nine examinations to go until the year finally ends.

It is a fascinating time in Formula 1. A period every year when the focus is as much on next year and beyond as on the present, but this year it seems the whole driver market is in a much greater state of flux than for a very long time and those driver movements are by no means over and done with yet.

Conceivably, with Fernando Alonso giving up on Formula 1, maybe temporarily if you believe what he says, it will further spur the team principals and the sport's owners to realise the time for change really is here when one such as Alonso says: "The action on track is not the one I dreamed of when I joined F1, or when I was in different series, or the action on track that I experienced in other years. I stopped because the action on track, in my opinion, is very poor. In fact, what we talk about more in F1 is off track.

"We talk about politics. We talk about radio messages. We talk about all these things, and when we talk so many times about those things, it is a bad sign.

"There are other series that maybe offer better action, more joy and more happiness, so that is what I try to find."

If that is not a clarion call for revolution, from a two time World Champion, then I don't know what is.


Certainly if Alonso had been having a good season with the new McLaren / Renault partnership and if he felt he had a winning car, then I am sure he would not be leaving despite what he says about Formula 1 in general. In fact he has said that should the performance of McLaren improve he could well consider returning to the team at some point.

His manager, the flamboyant, once disgraced and banned from Formula 1 Flavio Briatore, is also quoted as saying about Alonso "It makes no sense for him to be seventh or eighth."

So, what to make of his departure?

He was trapped in an underperforming team, for the fourth consecutive season, with no route out. With his perceived 'baggage' of political manipulation, no top performing team wanted a bar of him and there seemed no possibility to him of driving a McLaren that could be a regular podium contender.

It's sad to see him leaving Formula 1 no doubt but what alternative did he have?

Alonso has been called 'indispensible' to Formula 1 but with the thought that every time a driver leaves the sport then that makes a position available for a new one to force his way in, the quote by French President Charles de Gaulle comes to mind: "The graveyards are full of indispensable men".