Formula 1

Eric Boullier: Alonso’s Future at McLaren Beyond 2017 is Still in Doubt

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Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd.

Eric Boullier has acknowledged that Fernando Alonso is far from happy with McLaren Honda Formula One Team’s current situation, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the Spaniard will be leaving anytime soon.

Alonso’s frustration was evident during the 2016 season, and with Honda failing to show any improvement during the first pre-season testing, we can only expect that frustration is starting to make a reappearance.

The team was second to last both on the total number of laps completed at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, achieving 201 laps over the four days, and on lap-times. This has raised the question of Alonso’s commitment to the team should he be forced to endure another long and fruitless season.

Boullier was quick to point out, however, that this is not the first time Alonso’s long-term presence at the team has come into question.

After six months at McLaren everybody said it would be a tragedy, a messbut in the third year he is still here,” he told Gazzetta dello Sport.

“Naturally he is not happy because he wants to fight to win. But, even if the team works like crazy, right now we are not able to offer this possibility and I cannot say that he will do so tomorrow. It is up to use to bring McLaren to the level that is deserves for its history.”

Boullier was asked how he manages the uncertain situation, to which he replied, “By telling the truth because you avoid wrong expectations. He knows the situation exactly.

He does however admit that Alonso’s participation in the 2018 season is still up in the air.

I hope so but I’m not sure,” he said. “For sure Fernando is still at the top. The way he has prepared for this season is incredible, I was impressed.

“After so many years you could expect this guy to say ‘OK I’ll take life more lightly’. But no, he is always focused. He is an example and an inspiration for many drivers, not only those who are in F1.”

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