McLaren’s Honda exit will see Fernando Alonso extend contract

New engine deal with Renault to be announced at the Singapore GP

Fernando Alonso
Former McLaren F1 driver Fernando Alonso is a two-time world champion
(Image credit: Lars Baron/Getty Images)

McLaren’s expected ‘divorce’ from engine suppliers Honda will in turn see Fernando Alonso sign an extension with the Woking-based Formula 1 team.

Following a long-running saga with Honda over the quality of its engines, sources told Sky Sports this morning that McLaren will switch to Renault from next year and that the move is expected to be made official at this weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix.

McLaren had signed a reported ten-year deal with Honda, but the tie-up is ending after only three years. The BBC’s Andrew Benson writes that the saga has been an “epic palaver”. McLaren is now taking a calculated gamble, he claims.

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The move to a new engine supplier is good news for Alonso, who is believed to have lost faith in Honda and the reliability of its engines. At Spa-Francorchamps, The Daily Telegraph reports, Alonso said the lack of power was “embarrassing”.

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With McLaren’s switch to Renault set to be announced this weekend, the future of Alonso will also be settled. The 36-year-old Spaniard had denied he gave McLaren an ultimatum, but when asked about the Honda vs. Renault option, he was clear in his thoughts. “I don’t think there is any tough choice,” he said.

The Telegraph reports that the two-time world champion has been offered a two-year contract worth at least £20m a year.

There had been talk of a potential move by Alonso to IndyCar.

After being given permission to miss the Monaco F1 Grand Prix, the driver impressed on his IndyCar debut at the Indianapolis 500 in May. Alonso led for 27 laps before finishing 24th at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

His drive prompted US editor David Malsher to write an open letter to Alonso saying why he should swap F1 for IndyCar.

Although Alonso’s F1 future looks settled for now, Malsher said that if he did want a move to IndyCar, there were "teams and sponsors who’d trip over themselves to make it happen”.

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