The fact that McLaren Honda Formula One Team are struggling to keep Fernando Alonso driving for them is not news.
Given the dreadful reliability and lack of power they have exhibited throughout the first half of the season, the double world champion has often driven great races where he’s punched way higher than what his car is capable of, only to retire the car mid race due to an engine issue.
Therefore, McLaren’s relationship with engine supplier Honda has been rocky at best. Fernando Alonso has made it public that he doesn’t like this uncertainty and he would like McLaren to confirm at the earliest if they are going to stick with Honda or if they are going to sign on with Mercedes, Ferrari, or Renault for their engine needs for the 2018 F1 season.
Photo : Steven Tee – LAT Images
“No firm decisions have been made”, said McLaren F1 CEO Jonathan Neale commenting on their engine plans.
“We’re in lots of dialogue with Honda , we’re keeping the FIA and FOM close to what is going on. We are trying to do the right thing for F1 but also try to do the right thing for McLaren.
“McLaren is a team we have a duty to put back at the front. The sport wants us back at the front. We want Fernando back at the front in the mix.”
Fernando Alonso, however, has made it clear that he shall decide on his future at McLaren by September, and Neale has said that McLaren “will do everything it can” to keep him for 2018.
“If I put my personal colours to the mast, I’d love to have Fernando in this team”, remarked Neale. “I think he’s a great guy, he’s one of the best drivers I have ever worked with and I’d love to have him for longer.
“I know we’ll do everything we can to keep him in this team but I recognise he will have choices – nothing is a given.”
Feature image : Glenn Dunbar – LAT Images
– Aditya Bhat.