Brown: Alonso stay 'very likely' with Renault

Brown: Alonso stay 'very likely' with Renault

3 September 2017 – Fernando Alonso would be "very likely" to stay with McLaren for the 2018 campaign if the team switches to Renault power, according to Zak Brown.

McLaren is expected to make an announcement over its future power unit plans this week, amid Honda's struggle to produce a reliable and competitive engine.

Honda boss Yusuke Hasegawa told GPUpdate.net at the Italian Grand Prix that it is "very clear" Alonso does not want to stay with Honda, unless rapid improvement is displayed.

"It is very clear: if we don't introduce anything, and stay with the current performance, McLaren or Fernando doesn't stay with us – it is very clear," he said.

And asked about the prospect of securing a Renault engine, Brown admitted that it would help to secure Alonso's services for another year.

"I think it's very likely [to convince him]," McLaren chief Brown told Sky Sports.

"I seem to have a lot of breakfasts now with Fernando... he loves the team, he's passionate as ever to drive, he wants to be in Formula 1 and wants us to be more competitive."

Brown, though, would not rule out Alonso, McLaren and Honda sticking together.

"We will further review this week," he commented.

"I wouldn't say it's a foregone conclusion that if we do stay with Honda he won't remain with us."

Another potential twist to the situation is Christian Horner's revelation that Red Bull has a veto over which teams Renault supplies, but suggested it will not be used.

GPUpdate.net spotted Horner leaving the McLaren Brand Centre on Sunday morning.

"We have a veto over who potentially Renault could supply, but of course, if there was a straightforward switch, that would be very straightforward," Horner told Sky Sports.

"It was something that went into the contract 10 years ago when dear old [former McLaren chief] Ron Dennis wouldn't give us a Mercedes engine.

"Theoretically we could do [veto a Renault supply deal]."

At present, Renault powers Red Bull and Toro Rosso, alongside a works team, with current regulations stipulating that manufacturers can only supply three teams.

A deadline of Sunday evening was rumoured to have been set by Toro Rosso regarding its 2018 engine supply, following talks with Honda over the summer.

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