With obvious options to switch to another team evaporated, it appears Fernando Alonso will stay with McLaren for 2018.
“GP2 Engine”, “embarrassing”, “Engine failure, Engine failure” are the list of radio messages with which Alonso has repeatedly humiliated Honda publicly. And yet, it seems hard to imagine that he would have a fourth season with McLaren – at least with Honda as a motor partner. It’s understood that during the Spa weekend the boss of McLaren Zak Brown has agreed with Fernando the basic conditions for which he’ll stay with the team for 2018. Further, a contract is now at a point of being written up and only the formalities have to be clarified.
Indeed the rhetoric from the ‘Spanish Samurai’ seems to back this up with a wholesale change during the buildup to the Italian Grand Prix despite grid penalties that’ll ensure he starts at the back. From this, the conclusions are clear; he no longer has to strengthen his contract position and he can now turn off the public criticism (for now).
“We have some ingredients to become world champions, and the team has improved a lot over the last three years since I came, I think we have the talent in the team, we have the equipment.”
“We have everything, we just have to get a little faster, which is the most important thing. Now we look at the figures for next year, and then we make a decision. ” admits Fernando.
“It’s just like Ferrari 2014/15 when they’ve made a huge step in the engine. When you get the hang of the engine, the fuel burner works and everything gets better, it’s very quick to get results. ”
“I have to find out for myself what Honda is doing, and they have learnt from the experience of the past three years”
Alonso has also denied reports that he retired his car in Spa without any mechanical failure.
“It is absolute rubbish,” Alonso told reporters.
“I had a few issues on the power unit in the three or four laps before the retirement.
“I had this a couple of other times before when some sensors start failing and some things started feeling wrong and then it went immediately to engine blow-up.
“So this time, after having those first problems, we retired the car and they checked the whole engine and it seems like everything is fine on the look they did.
“So we will try to fit that engine (on Friday) for second practice. If it blows up, we will change it obviously. If it keeps holding probably we keep using it.”