Alonso stay ‘very likely’ if McLaren join Renault

Date published: September 3 2017

McLaren Zak Brown has said it would be “very likely” that Fernando Alonso stays with McLaren if they turn to Renault as their engine supplier.

Following meetings with Renault at the Italian Grand Prix, McLaren look poised to finally divorce Honda and an announcement is set to be confirmed within the next week.

Another double DNF at Monza could be the final nail in the McLaren-Honda coffin, with Brown optimistic that Alonso would sign a new contract if the Woking-based team become Renault powered next year.

“Very likely, very likely,” Brown told Sky Sports when asked about Alonso’s chances of being at McLaren-Renault.

“Fernando loves the team, he’s as passionate as ever to drive. There’s been some reports about [going to] IndyCar and things of that nature – he wants to be in Formula 1.”

“He just wants us to be in a competitive situation, and I wouldn’t rule him out if things stay status quo,” he added.

“With the stuff that we are seeing, that we’re going to review further this week, I wouldn’t say it’s a forgone conclusion if we continue with Honda that he doesn’t continue with us.

“We need to get more competitive. This weekend showed we’re just really not making any significant progress. How long can you wait before you have upset drivers, upset partners, upset fans?

“Everyone is hanging in there with us but it can’t go on forever.”

Alonso, meanwhile, has been impressed with what the Renault engine is capable of delivering with Red Bull and is also expecting clarification on both his and McLaren’s future soon.

“Many news are coming in the next weeks and hopefully all of them will be useful to me to make a decision,” he said.

“I’ll keep looking at what options are there for next year, I need to study all of them and make a decision.

“We know what that [Renault] engine could do – Red Bull did five, six consecutive podiums, and we know what Mercedes could do as well with Force India this year, Williams on the first row of the grid [at Monza].

“So we know what are the options, we need to make a decision. We need to concentrate more on next year, not this year’s results.

“It’s an important week, for McLaren to make some decisions, and hopefully we’ll all know something before Singapore so we can comment on it there.”