Alonso 'never gave any ultimatums', says Brown

Fernando Alonso

McLaren executive director Zak Brown has once again denied reports that Fernando Alonso threatened to leave the team if it didn't dump Honda.

Alonso had been very vocal in his complaints about the Japanese manufacturer's power unit. The lack of power and reliability of the engine left the two-time former world champion fuming at race after race.

Although Honda did look to be getting to grips with the problem toward the end of 2017, McLaren terminated their partnership at the end of the season after three years. McLaren will take Renault engines this season, with Honda swapping to supply Toro Rosso.

But Brown insisted that Alonso had made no demands about the change before agreeing his own contract extension. Alonso will stay at McLaren for another season, alongside Stoffel Vandoorne.

"I have often heard that he gave us ultimatums," admitted Brown this week at the Autosport International Show. "But I want to assure you that this has never been the case.

"He just wanted us to be competitive again.

"I think he would have stayed if we felt we'd been competitive staying where we were [with Honda]," he said. "I think he would have bought into that.

"[But] he has great history with Renault," Brown pointed out.

He added that the team had offered Alonso no guarantees on how things would go this year.

"We haven't made him any promises other than we want to get back to the front," Brown stated. "He knows that. He knows what we're capable of."

Brown went on to explain why McLaren had felt it was so important to retain Alonso for another season.

"He really enjoys the team," he said. "He pushes everyone. When he comes into the garage, everyone raises their game."

"We want to get back to the front [too]" Brown added. "Our interests are aligned."

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