Fernando Alonso is aiming to make a final decision on his racing future in the gap between next month’s Formula 1 races in Japan and the United States, having made little progress since Singapore.
Alonso is out of contract with McLaren at the end of the season and known to be evaluating his options both inside and outside of F1 after three tough years with the British team.
A switch to Renault engines for 2018 is expected to lift McLaren up the pecking order and give Alonso a better chance to compete, with the two-time world champion saying two weeks ago in Singapore that he would look to discuss his future with the team prior to the race in Malaysia.
When asked by Crash.net if there had been any progress made on his future, Alonso said there had been “not much”, before targeting the two-week gap between the races in Japan (October 8) and Austin (October 22) as a good time to make a final decision.
“In the next break will be good to make the final decision. I think now between Malaysia and Japan we will be busy here working at the track but definitely after Japan that will probably be my wish,” Alonso said.
“That will be the deadline let’s say to make it happen and choose whatever I feel is the best.
— Sky Sports F1 🏎 (@SkySportsF1) September 28, 2017
“I think I’ve repeated it many times, I want to be competitive next year, I want to be back on the podium, I want to be back winning, I want to be back fighting for the world championship.
“I still need some more information to make this decision but at the same time I remain optimistic because McLaren is one of the best or the best team in the history of Formula 1.
“So I think we have everything to make it happen.”
With all drivers except Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel thought to be out of contract at the end of 2018, it has been suggested that Alonso could target a one-year extension with McLaren to keep his options open for 2019.
However, Alono said it was “not very important” to be free for that campaign, adding: “I think my idea, my view of motorsport, is much bigger than that.”