NOVEMBER 7, 2016
McLaren risks losing Alonso says Ramirez
McLaren-Honda risks losing Fernando Alonso if the team cannot significantly up its game.
That is the view of the famous British team's well-known former team coordinator Jo Ramirez.
"It's still painful," the 75-year-old told Spanish sports daily AS. "McLaren's evolution is good but it's too slow.
"They're losing sponsors and will lose Alonso as well," Ramirez warned.
Asked if he thinks the two-time world champion and Spaniard is getting tired of McLaren's situation, he answered: "It cannot be otherwise. He is a winning driver and he has to win.
"I don't think he will endure more than next year. I do believe that's his limit."
So as for whether McLaren can return to the top step of the podium, Ramirez said: "I don't know but I hope so, because the talent is there.
"But as I say, sponsors are going, because in this business if you don't win, it's difficult."
When asked if McLaren can succeed as soon as 2017, Ramirez added: "I think this year they should already have been on the podium.
"Of course it's possible to fight for the title, but I think it's difficult. But they have to do everything possible, because I think next year is McLaren's last chance.
"I think they have a lot to improve because do you know what? It's not all the fault of the engine.
"The engine is still not good, but I don't think it's the best chassis in the world. So they have to work together, McLaren and Honda, as if they were a single team, and keep Alonso," he concluded.