Fernando Alonso

Alonso open to options outside of F1 if he can’t find winning project

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Fernando Alonso is not afraid to explore options outside of Formula 1 for 2018 if he is unable to find a winning project as the saga surrounding his McLaren future continues.

Alonso is out of contract at the end of the season, and has been exploring options away from McLaren after three difficult years fighting down the order due to issues with the team’s Honda power unit.

The two-time world champion does not appear to have many options for 2018, and is still talking to McLaren about a drive for next year.

“I’m very open. I haven’t made a decision yet,” Alonso told CNN.

“I’m talking to McLaren, of course, because it’s my team. I think we have unfinished business together to win in Formula 1.

“I think everyone will have their opinion of what we need to be competitive. I have mine. If that happens, I will consider for sure to stay and win with McLaren.”

Should Alonso decide to leave McLaren, the Spaniard confirmed he would explore other options on the F1 grid, but is not afraid to look beyond the sport.

“Formula 1 is still my priority, it’s my life, and winning the world championship is what I’m hoping,” Alonso said.

“If I don’t see any clear project that will allow me to fight for the win, I will look outside Formula 1, but that’s [a decision for] November, December. I will try all the possibilities before that.”

Alonso stole the headlines earlier this year with his entry to the Indianapolis 500 as part of a joint entry between McLaren, Honda and Andretti Autosport, qualifying fifth and running up the order before retiring with an engine failure.

While Alonso enjoyed his stint in the IndyCar paddock, a full-season ride is not thought to be a serious consideration for him currently.

A future shot at the 24 Hours of Le Mans is also on Alonso’s radar, although the lingering uncertainty regarding the future of the LMP1 class and prototype racing in the FIA World Endurance Championship may put the brakes on that for the time being.

When asked if he felt he had taken his last win in F1 – the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix – Alonso said: “No, no. It will happen.

“I have a feeling it will happen next year.”

Alonso grabs deckchair under Hungary podium, embraces the meme (VIDEO)

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Fernando Alonso rode into Formula 1’s summer break in style by recreating his iconic deckchair moment under the podium following the Hungarian Grand Prix on Sunday.

Alonso charged to McLaren’s best result of the year by finishing sixth at the Hungaroring, lifting it to ninth in the constructors’ championship above Sauber.

A special piece of artwork depicting Alonso on a beach in a deckchair – reminiscent of his famous moment in qualifying for the 2015 Brazilian Grand Prix – had been placed under the podium in parc ferme.

As the top three drivers took to the podium in Budapest, Alonso played his part in the ceremony by turning up and sitting on a lounger, embracing the meme that has defined his recent career.

Alonso set for Silverstone F1 grid drop after power unit change

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Fernando Alonso is set to receive a Formula 1 grid penalty for this weekend’s British Grand Prix at Silverstone after switching back to Honda’s ‘Spec 3’ power unit that he was forced to give up in Austria.

Alonso had been set to race with the upgraded Spec 3 internal combustion engine (ICE) last weekend before an issue forced McLaren to move the Spaniard back to the ‘Spec 2’ edition.

Alonso was eliminated early in Austria after being hit by Daniil Kvyat, leaving him eager to bounce back at Silverstone and try to give McLaren its second points finish of the year in a season beset by power unit troubles.

However, Alonso’s job will be made more difficult by the grid penalty, which is due to be announced by the FIA on Friday after he confirmed McLaren would be taking at least a new MGU-H for his Honda power unit.

“At the moment we will put the Spec 3 tomorrow with the new MGU-H because we don’t have an older one to run, so that is already a penalty,” Alonso said, as quoted by crash.net.

“We see how it goes tomorrow and we make the decision for Saturday if we have to take the extra penalties here.

“I don’t know what the other components are in terms of mileage, so it will not change too much to take a small penalty or a big one.

“Maybe it is better to take the big one and arrive in Hungary a little bit more safe.”

Alonso upbeat after Austria qualifying, P12 ‘maximum’ result

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Fernando Alonso felt upbeat about McLaren’s display during Formula 1 qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix on Saturday after qualifying 12th and only narrowly missing out on a place in Q3.

Alonso entered qualifying on the back foot after being forced to give up his upgraded ‘Spec 3’ Honda power unit after a problem was discovered overnight with the MGU-H.

Alonso was able to take P12 in qualifying on Saturday despite complaining about a lack of power towards the end of Q1, and only finished six-hundredths of a second off a Q3 spot.

“I think it was good. I was happy with the laps and the performance,” Alonso told NBCSN after the session.

“The car has felt good all weekend. This was the maximum we could achieve today. We need to wait and see.

“The team are doing their best to improve the situation. We’ve got the aerodynamic updates and spec for engine better. Now we’re a touch off Q3. It’s a positive note.

“We need to improve the reliability still. I think we’re in a position to do so. Starting P12, we’re close, with a good start or good strategy, we’re close.”

Alonso will enter Sunday’s race chasing his second straight points finish after ending McLaren’s drought in Baku two weeks ago when he finished ninth.

The Austrian Grand Prix is live on CNBC and the NBC Sports app from 7:30am ET on Sunday.

Alonso switches back to ‘Spec 2’ Honda F1 engine after problem

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Fernando Alonso will complete the remainder of the Austrian Grand Prix weekend using Honda’s ‘Spec 2’ Formula 1 engine after a problem was found on his updated power unit following Friday’s practice sessions.

After a difficult start to the season with Honda’s struggling power unit, McLaren was handed a boost heading into the Austria weekend when the Japanese manufacturer confirmed it would be introducing its ‘Spec 3’ engine after a successful practice run two weeks ago.

Both McLaren and Honda seemed happy with the updated power unit following practice as Alonso and teammate Stoffel Vandoorne finished inside the top 10.

However, Alonso will now move back to the ‘Spec 2’ power unit after Honda discovered a problem on his upgraded internal combustion engine (ICE) following FP2.

“Last night we detected an issue with Fernando’s MGU-H. We have changed his PU,” a spokesperson from Honda confirmed.

“All newly fitted components have been used during previous grands prix so there will be no penalties.

“The ICE will be Spec 2 from day two in Azerbaijan.”