Formula One driver Fernando Alonso is hoping to decide on his next destination following the Japanese Grand Prix, but could end up staying with current team McLaren.
The Spanish driver's contract expires at the end of the ongoing season, but his team remain hopeful of reaching an agreement with the former world number one after their much-anticipated switch to Renault engines starting from 2018 as a source of persuasion for the Spaniard to sign an extension.
Despite the split from Honda, McLaren have not yet managed to tie Alonso to a contract, with the veteran driver admitting that little progress has been made since the Singapore GP.
Both parties, however, are hopeful of getting the deal past the line prior to the end of 2017 before the season moves to America.
Alonso commented on the situation: "Between Malaysia and Japan we will be busy at the track, but definitely after Japan will probably be my wish or deadline to make the decision happen. I will choose wherever I feel is the best.
"I want to be competitive next year. I want to be back on the podiums, I want to be back having victories and fight for the world championship.
"I still need some more information to make this decision but at the same time, I remain optimistic because McLaren is one of the best teams in the history of Formula 1. I think we have everything to make it happen."
Alonso claimed that his decision will be unhindered by potential openings at F1 heavyweights Mercedes, Ferrari, Red Bull, and Renault in 2019.
He added: "It's not very important. My idea, my viewpoint of motorsport is much bigger than that."
The 36-year-old was caught in a massive collision at the start of the race leading to damage to his car as the former Ferrari driver was forced to withdraw after just eight laps.
Having romped to third place at one point, Alonso claimed that he could have secured a place at the podium if not for the damage.
"That podium could have been one of the biggest things of my career but we missed it," he said.
Alonso also commented on the next race in Malaysia, saying: "This circuit is not in the same category as Singapore in terms of power sensitivity so we will struggle a little bit more here.
"The targets are different, maybe being in Q3 and taking some points might be our maximum unfortunately.
"But we will try to achieve that. We need those points for the Constructors' Championship.
"We know there are still some difficult circuits for us and there may be more penalties to pay because I don't know if we have enough spare [engine components] to finish the season. Every opportunity that comes we need to take it."
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