Fernando Alonso says he wants his team to make a decision so that it can focus on the 2018 package, but there's probably another reason for his urgency...
It’s still up in the air over whether McLaren is going to stick with Honda for another year or make a switch to a more reliable, more powerful power unit.
McLaren has publicly let its frustration with Honda show in recent weeks and rumours continue that the team is keen to switch to Mercedes or even Ferrari engines. But it’s getting to the point where McLaren will have to make a decision soon or else it will start to several hamper the 2018 package, as having a different engine will likely require some changes.
For that reason Alonso wants the team to hurry up and make a decision, although it doesn’t take much to read between the lines of what he’s really saying:
“It’s up to them, but definitely the sooner you make a decision the better preparation you have for the following year so I guess they will try to make it an early decision. Obviously I would support whatever decision they make. For me, for the team, [the focus is] Hungary in 15 days’ time. A good opportunity, so that’s reality. The other things are just dreams.”
So in other words, he wants to know if it’s going to be Honda again so he has plenty of time to sort out another seat.
Alonso suffered yet another retirement in the British GP after yet another chunk of grid penalties, but said it wasn’t particularly painful because the car wasn’t very competitive anyway.
“Tough time. Unfortunately we had another issue today. A fuel pump, I think, which hopefully didn’t damage the engine and we can use the engine in the future. A difficult weekend, starting last, and following a group of cars it was a difficult race. We were not in the points, so today’s DNF is a bit less painful because we were not able to take points.”
He also remained coy about whether or not having a different engine would magically propel the team further up to the front of the grid but hinted that the engine remained the weakest part and that for the team to move up the grid the engine needed to be better.
“Who knows. It’s difficult to guess, to imagine different combinations of cars and engines, etc, but I think we identified very clearly what we are missing so if we can improve that we can be competitive.
Who knows whether or not changing engines would be enough for McLaren to convince Alonso to stay. He seems to be ramping up the pressure on the team to change something in order to keep him though, because if they don’t, he’s off.
Exactly where he’ll be off to on the other hand is anyone’s guess.