McLaren expects Fernando Alonso to stay in Formula 1 in 2018

McLaren thinks there is a very good chance Fernando Alonso will remain in Formula 1 next year, following an encouraging private dinner between team chiefs and the Spaniard at Silverstone

McLaren expects Fernando Alonso to stay in Formula 1 in 2018

Alonso is out of contract for next season and has limited options outside of McLaren to land a competitive seat in F1, with no realistic chance of securing a move to Red Bull, Ferrari or Mercedes.

That situation has prompted talk that Alonso could take an F1 sabbatical - potentially switching to IndyCar for a year - before plotting a return to a top-line grand prix seat for 2019.

But McLaren executive director Zak Brown has suggested that, following talks during dinner with Alonso on Friday night, the Spaniard's focus is very much of remaining in F1 in 2018.

When asked what chances he reckoned there were of Alonso remaining in F1 next year, Brown said: "Very good.

"We had a great dinner with Fernando, and he even picked up the bill.

"We have a good understanding with Fernando, and he loves the environment [at McLaren].

"Stoffel [Vandoorne] is also doing a great job, given very difficult circumstances for a rookie, so I like where we are on the driver front."

Asked about if there was any consideration for McLaren to run an IndyCar assault for Alonso in 2018 while it gets it F1's situation in order, Brown said: "He loved IndyCar.

"He definitely wants to go back and do the Indy 500 when the time is right, but he has made it very clear that he wants to be in F1 next year.

"I think the chances of him being in IndyCar next year are highly unlikely."

Brown said that one of the key decisions that McLaren needs to make is what to do about engines, as talks with Honda about their partnership remain ongoing.

"The relationship with Honda has been and remains fine on a personal level, but as we have made it widely known and everyone would agree, we need a much more competitive powerplant next year and that is the conversation we are having," he said.

"We are continuing to have conversations with them on how we are going to get more competitive next year."

Asked about whether the uncertainty now about the Sauber-Honda engine deal made McLaren's engine decision more complicated, Brown said: "It doesn't. Whatever Sauber does or doesn't do doesn't impact us.

"We are focused on our needs. I am not worried about the changing landscape of other racing teams."

shares
comments
Mercedes moves to end speculation over its future in F1

Previous article

Mercedes moves to end speculation over its future in F1

Next article

British Grand Prix practice: Lewis Hamilton pips Sebastian Vettel

British Grand Prix practice: Lewis Hamilton pips Sebastian Vettel
Load comments
The ill-fated Italian ace rendered an outsider at Ferrari Plus

The ill-fated Italian ace rendered an outsider at Ferrari

Anointed as Italy’s next great racing hero after the tragic death of Alberto Ascari, Luigi Musso was pushed out of favour at Ferrari by Peter Collins and Mike Hawthorn. NIGEL ROEBUCK recalls a troubled soul…

Formula 1
Oct 3, 2021
The magic moments of modern racing's foremost all-rounder Plus

The magic moments of modern racing's foremost all-rounder

From Champ Car to Formula 1, NASCAR, back to IndyCar and now plying his trade in sportscars, Juan Pablo Montoya's career is remarkable for its versatility. Here, the Colombian reflects on 10 of his most significant moments along the way

Formula 1
Oct 2, 2021
Why F1’s best-sounding car flattered to deceive Plus

Why F1’s best-sounding car flattered to deceive

Matra’s MS120 married rocket technology to an engine which sputtered out far too often. STUART CODLING examines how the championship-winning constructor’s ambitious project to build car and engine under one roof came to fail

Formula 1
Oct 1, 2021
Why Perez won't be broken by his latest F1 disappointments Plus

Why Perez won't be broken by his latest F1 disappointments

It has been a tricky past few races for Sergio Perez. The Red Bull driver has mustered just 16 points since the British Grand Prix in July and the team's constructors' championship chances have taken a hit. Yet the Mexican remains optimistic that he has all the tools he needs to turn his performances around

Formula 1
Sep 30, 2021
How Sainz turned crash streak into his best Ferrari F1 weekend so far Plus

How Sainz turned crash streak into his best Ferrari F1 weekend so far

OPINION: Carlos Sainz Jr was one of the stars of the 2021 Russian Grand Prix. But he came into the weekend with a streak of recent crashes hanging over him. Here’s how the Ferrari newcomer worked to overcome those setbacks and deliver yet more success for his new team

Formula 1
Sep 29, 2021
The mid-season rule change that has left F1 teams scrambling Plus

The mid-season rule change that has left F1 teams scrambling

The technical directive issued by Formula 1 to reduce levels of automation in pitstops has given teams an unwelcome period of adjustment. Although safety was the primary goal, it has already had a significant impact on the title race and puts extra pressure on teams to deliver as the season reaches the business end

Formula 1
Sep 28, 2021
How the pandemic is continuing to bite F1 Plus

How the pandemic is continuing to bite F1

Uncertainty over the shape of the calendar doesn’t just vex the fans and the commercial rights holder. MARK GALLAGHER explains at how race promoters have been pushed to the financial brink

Formula 1
Sep 28, 2021
Hamilton at 100 wins: In his adversaries’ words Plus

Hamilton at 100 wins: In his adversaries’ words

Some 18 drivers have finished runner-up to Lewis Hamilton on his way to 100 wins. Three of those recall their battles with Formula 1’s centurion and give their personal insights into the seven-time world champion on his rise to unchartered territory

Formula 1
Sep 27, 2021