International motorsports man of the moment, Fernando Alonso, insists he has yet to consider his future beyond the end of this season.
Alonso’s current term at McLaren Honda F1 Team has been plagued with unreliability and three seasons of uncompetitive machinery have seen an increase in curiosity surrounding the Spaniard’s future in Formula One.
While the 35-year-old has said he will not consider where he will drive next year until after the summer break, he has said his priority is to be in a race-winning car, something the two-time world champion hasn’t enjoyed since the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix.
When asked what he will do if a race-winning seat isn’t available for 2018, Alonso told RACER: “We’ll see; I think I have to also consider what will be the best option.
“As I’ve said many times, my abilities and skills are developed for Formula 1 cars and I want to win there. Next year I run out of contract with McLaren so I’m free to choose, I will try to make sure that I’m in a winning car next year. That is the first priority.
“If that is not available I will then think what is the best thing to do, but I hope I don’t need to be in that position. I hope that I can be in a winning car.”
McLaren’s executive director Zak Brown understands Alonso’s desire to win again and says the team knows it must prove to the Spaniard that it has the potential to fight at the front next year if they want to secure his signature for another term.
“I totally understand his position,” Brown said. “He’s a two-time world champion that wants to be a three-time world champion, and he’s only going to do that in a car that would win. As he said [in Spain], he would love to stay at McLaren. We’ve given him a great environment. he really enjoys it here. We’ve got to give him a winning car. It’s hard to know when that will be other than we’ve designed lots of winning cars.
“We’ve seen other engine manufacturers make significant progress over the season, as you saw with Renault a couple of years ago where they started and where they ended up. As he said, he’s going to wait until after the summer break which is what we’ve agreed. I think all we can do right now is put our head down and try and demonstrate that we’re going to be in a position to win next year by the time he’s ready to make a decision.”