Brown 'understands' Alonso over future
18 May 2017 – McLaren chief Zak Brown says he "totally understands" Fernando Alonso's recent comments regarding his future, as the Spaniard chases a third Formula 1 world title.
McLaren is enduring another tough Formula 1 campaign, with engine partner Honda still struggling to produce a reliable and competitive engine, despite returning in 2015.
Alonso, in the final season of a three-year deal, said at the Spanish Grand Prix that his future plans are "very open", though reiterated that no decision will be made until the summer.
"My intention and my first priority is to race here [in Formula 1] next year, but not just to race, also to win," Alonso commented.
"I'm happy with the team [McLaren], but we are not winning.
"If from here to September or October I see an opportunity to win in 2018 I'll be more than happy to stay, if it's not the case I will be more than happy to talk to anyone."
Brown says it is now up to McLaren and Honda to prove to Alonso, before he makes a decision, that the partnership can win together from the 2018 season.
"I totally understand his position, he's a two-time World Champion that wants to be a three-time World Champion and he's only going to do that with a car that can win," said Brown.
"As he said, he would love to stay at McLaren, and we've given him a great environment, he really enjoys it here, [but] we've got to give him a winning car.
"It's hard to know when that will be, other than we've produced lots of winning cars.
"We've also seen other engine manufacturers make significant process over the season, if you look at Renault a couple of years ago where they started and where they ended up.
"He's going to wait until after the summer break, which is what we've agreed.
"I think all we can do right now is put our head down and try to demonstrate that we're going to be in a position to win next year by the time he's ready to make a decision."
McLaren is the only team yet to score a point in 2017, after Sauber driver Pascal Wehrlein's top 10 finish at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya last time out.