Brown: Alonso buys into McLaren direction
19 October 2017 – McLaren Executive Director Zak Brown says Fernando Alonso "buys into the direction" the outfit is taking, after confirmation that the Spaniard will stay onboard for 2018.
Alonso returned to McLaren amid the squad's link-up with Honda for 2015, but the stint has been characterised by a lack of reliability and performance, prompting the operation to seek an alternative.
McLaren will instead be supplied by Renault in 2018, and confirmed on Thursday that Alonso has renewed his contract to remain part of the team for another campaign.
Brown hailed Alonso's ability and emphasised that the 36-year-old can return McLaren to the front of the pack in Formula 1.
"He has been a fantastic asset to the whole organisation for the past three years, is an incredible individual and is one of the most accomplished and talented racing drivers of the modern era," said Brown.
"It always made sense for us to continue our journey together.
"His commitment will ensure we head into 2018 feeling increasingly confident that we'll be able to take a meaningful step forward.
"Fernando fully understands and buys in to the direction we are taking.
"With Fernando, there is no doubt that we have a driver who can help us achieve our goal of winning again in F1 – and, believe me, we are all keen to do that."
McLaren Racing Director Eric Boullier believes the outfit can deliver a competitive package for Alonso in 2018.
"He's always been clear to me that this is a team he loves, and that his heart has always been set on staying," said Boullier.
"Today's announcement shows that he's fully committed to racing and winning as a McLaren driver.
"While we've often shared his frustrations over the past few years, we now feel that we can deliver on our promise to give him a competitive car next season.
"Consistency of driver line-up is one of those small but essential elements that really helps a team to maintain momentum.
"With Fernando and Stoffel [Vandoorne], we're lucky to be writing a fresh chapter with what we believe to be the best driver line-up in Formula 1."