McLaren-Honda driver Fernando Alonso has said that he will stay at the struggling F1 team if they start winning events by September.
The 35-year-old Spaniard was asked earlier today if there was any situation where he would resign with McLaren, and he said: “We have to win. If we are winning, before September or something like that, I will make a decision and I will stay.”
Alonso’s current contract with McLaren-Honda expires after this year and is yet to finish on the podium since he re-joined the team in 2015.
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His comment comes after executive director Zak Brown expressed serious concern about Honda; adding that the team’s patience was wearing thin.
So, that seems to be settled then, Alonso will not be driving the McLaren next year.
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The teams struggle for points and, at times, to keep the car on the circuit for an entire race this season, makes winning GP events in the next three months extremely unlikely.
So, where will Fernando Alonso be next season?
Well, the 35-year-old’s options are limited. The probability of Mercedes, Ferrari, and Red Bull offering the Spaniard a drive for 2018 are low.
Within McLaren-Honda, the pressure on the Japanese engine manufacturer is rising. The Woking-based F1 team’s executive director Brown has said that the team is at a fork in the road regarding future plans following reliability issues again at Monaco.
It seems unlikely that McLaren's association with Honda will continue into next year.
Alonso, when pressed on whether he’s staying or going, cagily explained that his future was not certain.
"You cannot be 100 per cent [sure] now in June about a decision for next year that I haven't even started to consider.
"What we all want is to win and I think related to the answer before, what Zak commented about yesterday and the Honda thing –
“It is probably what you would expect for Zak to say.
“He wants to win, he wants to put McLaren again on a contender position for the championship, so after three years we are not in that position and things have to change for the team. It's the same with me.
"I want to win, and during this project I wanted to be world champion and we are not in that position.
“ So if you don't see things changing and you are not in a competitive position, maybe you change project.
"That's the only thing I can say now until I sit down with myself in September or October -- after the summer, as I always said.
“I cannot say 100 per cent about anything now. I'm very open and I will hopefully take the best decision after the summer."
Alonso participated in the Indy500 this year and has made no secret of his ambition to become the first driver to win motorsports ‘triple crown’ (the Monaco GP, Indy 500, and Le Mans 24 Hours.)
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