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Alonso admits McLaren F1 exit likely: "I don't fear the future"

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Alonso admits McLaren F1 exit likely: "I don't fear the future"
Jun 8, 2017, 6:19 PM

Fernando Alonso has said that if McLaren Honda does not win a Formula 1 race by the end of the season, he will leave the struggling outfit.

Fernando Alonso has said that if McLaren Honda does not win a Formula 1 race by the end of the season, he will leave the struggling outfit.

Alonso's highest finish of 12th this year came at his home grand prix in Spain and he has also retired four times in 2017. The two-time champion said, during the Canadian Grand Prix press conference on Thursday, “a third world championship is still my biggest priority.”

The Spaniard's contract expires this season and Alonso gave a clear indication of his future intentions.

“We have to win,” he said.

“If we are winning before September or something like that I will make a decision: I will stay.”

His comments came after McLaren Executive Director Zak Brown questioned the viability of the team's partnership with Honda on Wednesday.

“Zak's comments yesterday [are] probably what you would expect Zak to say,” said Alonso.

“He wants to win, he wants to put McLaren again in a contender position for the championship, so after three years we are not in that position.

"Things have to change, I guess, for the team and same with me. I want to win and I joined this project because I wanted to be world champion.

“If you don't see things changing and you are not in a competitive position, maybe you change project.

“Until I sit down with myself in September or October or whatever, I cannot say 100% about anything now. I'm very open and the best decision hopefully I will take after summer.”

Alonso hasn't ruled out a return to IndyCar or another series and he described his stint at the Indianapolis 500 in May as an “amazing” race after having led 27 laps of 200 laps, having finished 26th after an engine failure.

“It was just a new thing for me but I felt competitive, I felt good in qualifying [and] I was leading the biggest race in the world for a while, so [I was] really happy.

“I think that I've developed my skills to drive F1 cars for the last 16 years so the best car that I can drive is still F1. I am not afraid of the future.

"If I cannot succeed here and win this third world championship, I still love motor racing and I could race in any series and know that I could win any series,” he said.

How many races are too many for the two-time champion?

Alonso has also said that if the number of F1 races increase, he will leave, as Formula One Management may expand the calendar in the future.

“I started when the calendar was 16 races plus the test, and now we keep increasing the races year after year.

“I think we are in a number that is quite demanding already.

“The life you have between preparation, the sponsor events, the test, the commitments you have plus 20 or 21 races I think is already enough. At this point of my career I consider a good quality of life is more important than to do more seasons in F1.

“So, if the calendar stays between 20 or 21 [races], this range that we know from the last couple of years, I will be happy to continue.

“If it's increasing like NASCAR - they have 40 or 50 races -  it's not for me. It's better for other drivers.”

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Fernando Alonso Shop Now