Hakkinen and Mansell urge Alonso to give McLaren time

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Amid renewed reports that Fernando Alonso has given McLaren an ultimatum about 2016, the two-time champion has been cautioned to reign in his complaints by his peers.

Alonso's very public display of dissatisfaction with McLaren - which included comparing the 2015 Honda power unit with a GP2 engine over the team radio - has been criticised by one of his illustrious predecessors at the team, another two-time world champion Mika Hakkinen.

"I waited seven years for my first Formula One win," Hakkinen told Finnish newspaper Ilta Sanomat this weekend. "He has driven the McLaren-Honda for only about half a year.

"Engine development is very slow, it is a stressful time for the driver," he conceded. "In my own career, when Mercedes came in to partner McLaren, the engine speed improved significantly over the development time.

"Alonso and many other drivers are very well compensated for their work. They agree to support the team through both good and bad days.

"Instead, he has already begun to rail against the engine manufacturers," Hakkinen said. "But Fernando should keep in mind that he himself decided to take up this challenge."

A report on Spanish sports website 6cero detailed the terms that Alonso is purported to be holding the team to if he is to stay at Woking in 2016, although it contained no direct quotes from the driver himself.

The article said that Alonso wanted to see Honda motorsport boss Yasuhisa Arai replaced and a new car built by McLaren that he would be fully involved in the design of, since he feels that the current MP4-30 does not suit his driving style. Even then, Alonso apparently indicated he could decide to walk away and take a sabbatical from the sport if the new car performs badly in pre-season testing or at Australia.

Alonso is currently one year into a three-year contract with McLaren, but BBC Sport pundit and former Formula One driver David Coulthard indicated that might not stop him from walking out if he really has had enough.

"Fernando could walk away from McLaren at any time if he was not happy, and the only thing he would forfeit is money, not face or honour," said Coulthard, who predicted that Alonso would tough it out to the end of the season and then take stock over the winter.

"If it looks like Honda has taken a significant step forward, he will probably go marching on. If it doesn't, I could well see someone like that going: 'Ladies and gentlemen, Fernando Alonso has left the building.'"

Former world champion Nigel Mansell knows what doing that would be like. He was Hakkinen's team mate at McLaren for a short spell in 1995 before dramatically quitting after just two races over dissatisfaction with the performance of the team's new Mercedes engines at the time - something that he now admits was a big mistake.

"I have to say, unequivocally, that given the same set of circumstances what I should have done, and didn't do, is sit in the office for a day or so to have a good chat with [McLaren chairman] Ron Dennis. He would have helped me enormously and the chances are I wouldn't have stood down at that time," Mansell told BBC Sport. "That's why I give this advice to everybody now to think very carefully."

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