L&T Motorsport

Alonso decision expected in September for next season

McLaren driver Fernando Alonso has stated that he will make a decision on his future next month after another disastrous grand prix weekend in Belgium.

The Spaniard has been very vocal over the issues that have came about with Honda’s power unit in the back of the McLaren and has stated before he wants a competitive car for 2018. Post race he mentioned that his decision will be made in September with former team Renault and also Williams (as reported at the weekend) in the running for his services.

Asked specifically after the Belgian GP if he would leave McLaren if the team renew with Honda, Alonso replied: “We will see what happens in the next couple of weekends. McLaren is always one of the best teams in the world and I would be happy to keep working with them but we need to see how things evolve in the next couple of weeks.”

Alonso retired from the race at the weekend after what he described as embarrassing. Having made a great start that took him to seventh behind the Red Bull’s the good work on lap one was negated by the lack of speed on the long Kemmel Straight after Eau Rouge with cars passing the orange and black machine with ease. Later in the race he also requested no radio contact as his frustrations boiled over. He retired on lap 26 citing engine problems. However post race Honda said they haven’t been able to detect any problems with the power unit, prompting some to wonder if the Spaniard retired what was a healthy, if slow, car on purpose, possibly as a statement to the team and its engine supplier.

With Mercedes and Ferrari already ruling out supplying McLaren next year the team has had discussions with Renault over an engine supply. But supplying McLaren would take the team to four teams, almost half the grid, and Red Bull’s Christian Horner has stated that the French manufacturer would not have the required resources to fulfil another team, feeling they need to concentrate on their reliability with his driver Max Verstappen retiring with technical issues yet again at Spa.

The 2005 and 2006 champion has also stated that he has been made offers elsewhere before.

“I have had offers, I have had offers in June, July and August. 60 per cent of them I have said no to already, the other 40 per cent is still on the table.”

This move could then open up the final seats in the driver market for 2018 as well and might even open the door at McLaren for another of their young drivers like Lando Norris or Nick de Vries to step up if the team decided to go with youthful exuberance.

Andrew Campbell
Photo Credit: skysports.com

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