With the ongoing saga surrounding the future of McLaren-Honda’s star driver Fernando Alonso seemingly becoming more obvious by the day; the F1 team has said it already has a Plan B and Plan C if the Spaniard does leave.
McLaren F1 CEO Zak Brown told ESPN F1 that negotiations between McLaren and Alonso are currently ongoing, but if they do not come to an agreement in time for the 2018 season, then they will have no other option but to seek alternatives.
"We've got another plan," Brown said.
"He hasn't signed with us yet, negotiations are ongoing and going very well. But you've got to have a Plan B and C in the event that you don't reach an agreement, and we've got those plans.
The McLaren-Honda partnership has become fraught in recent months due to reliability issues surrounding the car and it emerged that the beleaguered F1 team have been holding clandestine talks with Renault over a possible switch.
That may prove difficult, however, as the French manufacturer has been working with both the Renault F1 team and Italian minnow’s Torro Rosso; which is supplied by the French giants.
It has been reported that Honda and Liberty Media (owners of F1), as well as Torro Rosso, are not in favour of any switch, especially in Liberty Media's case as it may be that one of the biggest auto-motive manufacturers (Honda) will be out of F1.
That being said, Brown has explained that negotiations with Alonso hinge on the variability of McLaren producing a top performing car over the next few years, though, he has said that the Spaniard is not pressurising McLaren to necessarily ditch Honda.
"Fernando's not giving us any ultimatum [over Honda].
"All he wants is a competitive car.
“I'll be spending more time with him and these decisions can be based on whether he thinks we're going to be competitive or not. He's not going to be engine-specific in his desires."
Nevertheless; if Alonso decides not to re-sign for McLaren, there is no guarantee that the 36-year-old will be in a better car.
In fact, opportunities in the top three are sparse; a mooted move back to Renault F1 seems unlikely, and going to Williams does not look like it will provide Alonso with the sort of drive he seeks.