Fernando Alonso’s contract expires at the end of the season and the two times world champion is eager to make a bid for his third title. He wants one thing from McLaren, to give him a car capable of winning the title.
A difficult task for McLaren, considering the long list of problems with their current engine since the beginning of their partnership with Honda.
But, team McLaren-Honda wants to hold on to their driver. Jonathan Neale, COO McLaren assures the team is doing “everything they can” to convince the Spaniard to continue driving for them in the 2018 season.
“If I put my personal colors to the mast, I’d love to have Fernando in this team,” Neale told a sports website.
“I know we’ll do everything we can to keep him in this team but I recognize he will have choices – nothing is a given. I think he’s a great guy, he’s one of the best drivers I have ever worked with and I’d love to have him for longer.”
Neale admitted he is happy with McLaren’s progress this year. But, they are also considering a change of engine for the next year.
He said “I’m encouraged about McLaren’s future
“A lot has happened over the last 12 months. We’re ready to take that next step for McLaren. Our thoughts are starting to turn to next year’s car and what that is going to look like.”
“Of course the engine stuff is in that mix. We need to land all of that in and before the September timescale so our drivers know who we are going to be and what their plans are going to be.
“No firm decisions have been made. We’re in lots of dialogue with Honda. We’re keeping the FIA and FOM close to what is going on. We are trying to do the right thing for F1 but also try to do the right thing for McLaren.”
Alonso is at 15th place in Driver’s standing as the sports heads into the summer break. He scored his last points in Hungary GP, this one being his eighth consecutive time despite his machine problems. Will he stay with McLaren?