Formula 1

Fernando Alonso is undoubtedly one of McClaren's prized assets..

McLaren ready to take action in order to keep hold of Fernando Alonso

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It seems McLaren are ready to dump their engine suppliers Honda in a bid to hang on to their prized asset Fernando Alonso next season, according to Daily Mail.

It has been revealed that the British team are closing in on a deal with Mercedes to become their new engine supplier having grown tired with Honda's inconsistencies. 

Alonso suffered yet another engine failure in Canada over the weekend, and that is said to be the straw that broke the camel's back as McLaren's patience with the Japanese manufacturer finally ran dry.

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Long-standing shareholder Mansour Ojjeh was seen talking at length to Mercedes chief Toto Wolff and chairman Niki Lauda about the new arrangement in the paddock at Montreal ahead of the race.

There are understandably issues to overcome before a deal can be hashed out, with Mercedes wary of supplying their market leading engines, engines that have won them three consecutive constructors' championships, to a potential title rival.

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However, sources close to the deal say that these issues are by no means insurmountable.

The deal is not expected to be complete before the next race in Azerbaijan, but is rather expected to be announced during the summer break in August, with the partnership beginning next season.

McLaren have failed to earn a single point this season and sit rock bottom of the constructors' championship, a rather unbecoming place for such a prestigious name to find itself.

Alonso was in a points scoring position too when his engine conked out in Canada which only led to further frustration amongst McLaren bosses with Honda.

Canadian F1 Grand Prix

McLaren's racing director Eric Boullier described the latest set back as 'gut wrenching' saying: "It's difficult to find the right words to express our disappointment, our frustration and, yes, our sadness. So I'll say only this: it's simply, not good enough."

With Alonso out of contract at the end of the season, McLaren are frantically looking for a solution to their trouble as they desperately fight to keep hold of the former world champion.

The Spaniard's pedigree is unquestionable, and he seems dreadfully out of place at a bottom-of-the-table team.

Alonso, who currently earns a whopping £25 million annually, is expected to announce his future plans after the summer break with the prospect of a competitive car a key factor in his decision.

Canadian F1 Grand Prix - Practice

The deal is expected to cost McLaren £80 million in the end, and it maybe that, unless Alonso is willing to accept less money, that they could end up being unable to afford him.

It will be interesting to watch how this story develops.

Ojjeh, who is fighting tooth and nail to get McLaren back to the top, knows the importance of better engines, but equally knows the importance of having a world championship winning driver in control of one of those engines.

Whether a balance can be struck, and whether or not McLaren are capable of convincing Alonso that they will be competitive next season is yet to be seen.

Mercedes declined to comment on any potential involvement with McLaren.

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