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Alonso reaffirms commitment to McLaren in F1

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Fernando Alonso took to Twitter to respond to speculation about his future with McLaren following an outburst during Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix.

Alonso joined McLaren at the beginning of 2015, but has failed to enjoy the kind of success that he had hoped for thanks to the problematic Honda power unit, which has blighted the team’s fortunes.

In Japan, Alonso twice took to the radio to criticize the power unit, saying it was “embarrassing” that he was being passed by backmarkers and comparing it to the engines used in F1’s feeder series, GP2.

After the race, the Spaniard was coy with the media when asked about his future in F1. This followed comments from his former manager, Flavio Briatore, earlier this week that suggested Alonso could quit McLaren if the team’s situation does not improve soon.

Writing on Twitter after the race, Alonso made clear that he is not looking to leave McLaren, saying that he remains committed to his three-year contract before once again saying that he plans to finish his F1 career with the British team.

Alonso’s last spell with McLaren ended after just one season in 2007 following a falling out with the team, whilst his exit from Ferrari last year was also far from peaceful.

This prompted many to question whether his second spell with McLaren might go the same way, but for the time being, it appears that the Spaniard remains committed to the Honda project.

Andretti Autosport picks James Hinchcliffe for last 3 races of season

Andretti Autosport James Hinchcliffe
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James Hinchcliffe will finish the NTT IndyCar Series season for Andretti Autosport, replacing Zach Veach in the No. 26 Dallara-Honda.

The team made the announcement Friday afternoon that Hinchcliffe will return after racing for Andretti at Texas Motor Speedway, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and the Indianapolis 500.

Hinchcliffe, who also has worked as an IndyCar on NBC analyst and pit reporter, will race in the Oct. 2-3 doubleheader race weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and the Oct. 25 season finale at St. Petersburg, Florida.

“It’s always unfortunate to have to change drivers this far into a season, but we have to look at finishing the year the best we can for the 26 team and start evaluating and looking at options for 2021,” team owner Michael Andretti said in a release. “James has an existing relationship with our team that we’d love to build on and it makes the most sense for him to step in for these last three races. We are looking forward to seeing what he can do.”

Hinchcliffe has a season-best finish of seventh in the Indy 500. He had been working on trying to put together a deal for next season after scrambling to secure a partial schedule this year when he lost his ride at Arrow McLaren SP after 2020 with a year left on his deal.

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“I know, probably better than most, what Zach is feeling right now, and I have to say that he has handled everything about as class act as you can,” Hinchcliffe said. “I’ve known Zach as a teammate, before that as a colleague and even before that as a friend, and he is a guy that I respect in every way. I know he is a fighter and will fight back to where he wants to be.

“For me now, my focus is 100% on racing the Harvest GP and getting the best possible results for Gainbridge, for Honda, for Michael and for the team. I obviously haven’t been on a road course in a while, but at least the last time I was, it was here at IMS! Hopefully that puts us in a good position to go out there and have a strong weekend.”