Engine 'not the biggest factor' in deciding Alonso's future

Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Italian Grand Prix
© XPB 

Fernando Alonso says that McLaren's engine situation is not the main factor in where he decides to race in 2018.

"The team’s engine decision won’t be the most important thing," Alonso told Crash.net this week.

Alonso is out of contract at the end of the season. He's been increasingly frustrated by reliability and power issues with the power unit supplied by Honda.

Both Alonso and his team mate Stoffel Vandoorne failed to complete the Italian Grand Prix last week. Alonso retired with a gearbox issue three laps from the finish, Vandoorne having already exited the race over a problem with his power unit.

"I don’t think we can concentrate on one race’s performance or on what you want to see in one race," Alonso said after the race.

Even so, it seems to be the breaking point for McLaren which is on the brink of announcing a deal to switch to Renault for next season.

The French manufacturer itself has been criticised by customer teams this season. However it would undoubtedly be a huge step forward forward for the beleaguered McLaren team in terms of engine performance.

"We know Renault did six consecutive podiums, we know what that engine could do," Alonso pointed out. "We know what the Mercedes engine could also do with Force India and Williams this year.

"We know what the options are, so we need to make a decision," he said, adding: "But I don’t think that will happen before Singapore."

But while the engine is undoubtedly important, Alonso is also keeping his focus on news from further afield when it comes to making a decision about his future in the sport.

"There was much important news," he insisted. "There is always news that is important.

"The news about LMP1 rules is important. The new IndyCar aero kit is important. [IndyCar team] Andretti staying with Honda is important news. What engine McLaren will have is important news.

"We will see what happens," he added. "There are some options out there and I need to look at all of them and make a decision."

Alonso has previously said that he feels a sense of loyalty to McLaren. That has raised hopes that he will decide to extend his contract with the Woking team after all.

"I want to be loyal to the team," he told on Monday. "I'll give them a chance. We have shared very hard times together."

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