The McLaren team believes that they are very likely to have their star driver Fernando Alonso remain in the team next year, although his contract expires at the end of 2017.
Alonso said that he would stay in the team if they could fight for the wins at the end of the season, but the team only progressed to the occasional Q3 entry and scoring few points.
As there is no real chance that Alonso will end up in Mercedes, Ferrari or Red Bull, rumors have emerged that Alonso could have one year off, but McLaren believes the Spaniard will remain in the team in 2018.
McLaren Executive Director Zak Brown says he had dinner with Alonso on Friday evening and believes he will stay.
“Chances are very good,” Brown commented.
“We had a great dinner with Fernando, he even paid the bill.”
“We have a very good understanding with Fernando, and he loves the McLaren environment.”
“And Stoffel is doing a terrific job in difficult circumstances for a rookie so I like the driver situation.”
“Alonso definitely wants to return to the Indy 500 at the right time, but he clearly stated he wanted to be in F1 next year.”
“I think chances for him to be in IndyCar in 2018. are very small.”
“We continued to talk to him about what we plan to do to be more competitive.”