Sunday, 25 June, 2017

Alonso returns to McLaren with a deadline

McLaren Honda Indian Express McLaren were ninth in 2015 sixth last year and this season could become their worst ever
Darrell Mcdonald | 09 June, 2017, 09:31

Fernando Alonso has indicated to McLaren-Honda that the struggling Formula One team need to be winning races within the next three months if he is to stay on.

McLaren ailed to ninth place in the constructors' championship in 2015 as Honda tried to get up to speed with its rival engine manufacturers, and made improvements that lifted the team to sixth the following year.

"The first grand prix after the summer break (Belgium) is the limit for Brown and [Eric] Boullier, although they already expect to be competitive by Hungary", the report says.

He said: "Missing upgrades, and upgrades not delivering to the level we were told they were going to, you can only take that so long". So if the calendar stays between 20 or 21, the range we know from the last couple of years, I will be happy to continue. Winning by September is not on the cards for McLaren and his options to go elsewhere are extremely limited but he insisted he would move on.

"He wants to win, he wants to put McLaren again as a contender position for the championship".

"I want to win, and during this project I wanted to be world champion and we are not in that position".

Liberty's moustachioed chief executive Chase Carey has spoken of wanting four races in the States - ideally adding Las Vegas, New York and Miami to the existing Austin grand prix - as part of an expanded programme rising from 20 to 25. "You could have a race in Beijing and Shanghai and I don't think you've saturated Asia", he said.

"In how demanding becomes your life, and at this point of my career, I consider a good quality of life is more important than to do more seasons in F1".

As it stands, the 2018 F1 calendar will see the Malaysian Grand Prix dropped and the French Grand Prix will be revived. The layout of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve means it's very power-limited and therefore dependent on straight-line speed and power. "There's lots of things that go into the decision and we're entering that window now of "which way do you go when you come to the fork in the road".

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"Honda's working very hard but they seem a bit lost", said Brown, who replaced Ron Dennis at the helm late past year. The track itself is similar to Sochi and Monte Carlo, a low-abrasion, low-grip surface with short-duration corners and the tyre selection in Montreal is also the same, including the ultrasoft rubber, which has proved most troublesome for Hamilton.

"The race was fantastic", he said.

The two-time world champion is out of contract at the end of this season.

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