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Fernando Alonso: McLaren driver says Honda are risking reputation

13 May 2017

Fernando Alonso rued the latest miserable day of his recent Formula One career after his McLaren was struck down by further Honda reliability woes during practice for the Spanish Grand Prix.

McLaren's team radio told Alonso to "stop the auto, stop the auto, engine problem" as liquid dripped from the underside of the vehicle.

"We have been underperforming in the first four races and we didn't finish any of the Global Positioning System yet, in my case".

On expiry of his contract by the end of 2017, the Spaniard said: "I am hopeful that things will improve, but from September or October I will be open to any kind of negotiation, whether with McLaren or any other team".

Raising some eyebrows in the paddock, Alonso played down the suggestion it was meant to be viewed as a jibe towards Honda and says it was merely a chance train whilst his vehicle was being fixed.

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"As he said, he's going to wait until after the summer break, which is what we've agreed". "If it's not the case, I will be more than happy to talk to anyone". "At the end of the day, we've had some good Fridays and Saturdays but bad Sundays, so I have feeling this one will be a bad Friday but a good Sunday".

The Spaniard who will skip the next Grand Prix in Monaco to participate in the 500-mile Indianapolis with a McLaren-Honda-Andretti auto, remains determined to race in F1 in 2018 despite his current ordeal.

Even the most casual of race fans likely have noticed all the buzz around Formula One driver Fernando Alonso running in the Indianapolis 500, but unless they're specifically fans of F1, many might think his entry is being over-hyped.

"Hopefully this is the start of a new championship for us".

The 35-year-old insists his priority is to remain in F1, but warned that he may look elsewhere if McLaren-Honda does not make enough progress soon.

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Champion in 2005 and 2006, Alonso hasn't added to his 32 victories since winning the Spanish GP in 2013.

After team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne failed to start the Bahrain Grand Prix, Alonso was dealt the same hand by another engine problem in Russian Federation a fortnight ago.

"It's not my career", Alonso said. "We need to finish the race with both cars and put in some mileage".

While Alonso gave McLaren his ultimatum, Sauber driver Marcus Ericsson expressed his concern over his team's decision for next year to use the same Honda engine that has plagued McLaren.

"If you haven't got the concept together then the whole lot falls apart and that's what we're seeing with the Honda at the moment".

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Fernando Alonso: McLaren driver says Honda are risking reputation