Fernando Alonso will driver for McLaren until the end of 2017 but then could walk away from the team
McLaren have agreed to let Fernando Alonso miss the Monaco Grand Prix next month in order to race at Indy 500, a move both driver and team admit they have only made because of the F1 car’s lack of pace.
Alonso’s contract with McLaren expires at the end of 2017 and the Spaniard has said he will make a decision about his future over the summer.
And Brown is convinced that the 35-year-old would rather sign a new deal with McLaren than find a new team.
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“Fernando loves it here at McLaren and if we can give him a competitive McLaren-Honda next year then I think he’ll stay,” Brown told Express Sport.
“He loves the environment and I think the fact that we’re going to do the Indy 500 together demonstrates the type of team we are.
“He thoroughly enjoys it here and I think he wants to stay.
“But he needs to see our car more competitive and that will drive his decision.
“I have no doubt he wants to stay and we love having him in the team.”
Alonso has been forced to retire from both Grands Prix so far this season with technical problems while rookie team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne has only managed one complete race, finishing last in 13th at Melbourne.
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Fernando Alonso has been frustrated by the lack of pace at McLaren-Honda in 2017
The two-time F1 world champion said he will head to Indy 500 in an attempt to complete the second leg of motor racing’s ‘Triple Crown’ – having already won the Monaco Grand Prix, he will be eyeing the 24 Hours of Le Mans to complete the set if he wins in Indianapolis.
But Brown believes that success in F1 is still high on the agenda of the McLaren driver.
“He needs to know that we’re capable of winning races next year,” Brown added.
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“We obviously need to show drastic improvement over the course of the year but it’s difficult to put a number on that.
“As long as he feels we’re going in the right direction and next year we can provide a race-winning package, then he’ll come to his own conclusions as to how much progress we’ve made.
“At the end of the day, he wants to win races and championships.