It’s no secret that McLaren would like a big name star to spearhead Honda’s return to F1 next year, and Eric Boullier is making both overtones and undertones that only a World Champion will do.
While both four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel and two-time World Champion Fernando Alonso are on the radar, prying either driver from their respective contracts at Red Bull (2015) and Ferrari (2016), respectively, could be difficult.
Still, Boullier remains persistent and is keen on getting at least one of the two, even if it means waiting.
“We are still pushing and we will take the time we need. We don’t want to do a mistake – we have one shot and we don’t want to miss it,” Boullier told Autosport.
“McLaren is a top team, a big team, with a lot of history and we want to be back where we should be.”
Boullier also made waves during the Belgian Grand Prix weekend when he said he didn’t want to wait until the offseason to confirm McLaren’s 2015 lineup.
The team’s current lineup of Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen have had their moments of brilliance this year, but like in 2013 (Button and Sergio Perez), neither’s been an all-star outside of perhaps one or two Grands Prix.
McLaren could, hypothetically, be in a situation as it has done in the past where it could sign either Vettel or Alonso for 2016 – a year out. It’s been able to do this in the past by signing Juan Pablo Montoya for 2005 at the end of 2003, and signing Alonso for the first time for 2007 at the end of 2005.
If that were to happen, that would already put its two 2015 drivers on notice before the season starts, but still give them enough time to prove themselves once more.