With Renault F1 deal confirmed, McLaren’s attention turns to Alonso

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McLaren executive director Zak Brown will turn his attention to Formula 1 contract talks with Fernando Alonso in the coming weeks after resolving the team’s engine saga for 2018.

McLaren announced on Friday it would be parting company with struggling power unit partner Honda at the end of the season, switching to a customer supply from Renault on a three-year deal.

McLaren’s F1 management has spent much of this year working to resolve its engine struggles and become more competitive, with the lack of success on-track being a regular source of frustration for lead driver Alonso.

Out of contract at the end of the season, Alonso said on Thursday in Singapore he was still weighing up a number of options for next year, but Brown is hopeful of extending the Spaniard’s contract into 2018.

“We’re going to turn our attention to Fernando now. We’ve been speaking a lot, he’s been waiting to see what technical solution we came up with,” Brown said.

“He won his two championships with Renault. He’s very happy with the racing team, we’re very happy with him.

“So I think in the not-too-distant future we should be able to get something done and that’ll be the last big piece of the puzzle.

“Then I’ve got to find us some sponsorship with our commercial team and get ready for next year.”