Fernando Alonso Says McLaren Has Until October to Prove They Can Win in 2018

If McLaren hasn't convinced him in five months, he says he'll start talking to other teams.

The clock is ticking on this relationship. While speaking ahead of this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona, Formula One driver Fernando Alonso said McLaren has until October to convince him that the team can put forth a competitive car for the 2018 season…or else he’ll start talking with other teams. 

According to Reuters, Alonso said he’s happy with the McLaren team, but “we are not winning.” 

“My intention or first priority is to race next year here,” he said. “And not only to race, I want to win.” 

If he sees a clear way to win in 2018 by September or October, he said, he’ll stick with McLaren. “If it is not the case,” he said, “then I will be more than happy to talk to anyone.”

The Spaniard’s frustration is understandable. Heading into his home race this weekend—the fifth on the 2017 Formula One race calendar—Alonso has racked up exactly zero points behind the wheel of his malfunctioning Macca. Frontrunner Sebastian Vettel, on the other hand, has 86 points already. 

With those four events already behind him and his plans to skip Monaco to compete in the Indianapolis 500, Alonso could win every single other race on the calendar and still wouldn’t be able to match any of the winning driver’s scores from the last four years. 

But hope in Formula One springs eternal, and Alonso said he saw this weekend’s race as a chance to set things on a better course for the rest of the season. “We need to raise our game here in terms of reliability and hope to finish with both cars,” he said, according to Reuters. “Hopefully this is the starting point of a new championship for us.”