AUGUST 25, 2017
Alonso says September is decision month
Fernando Alonso has admitted the time is nearing for a decision about his future beyond 2017.
The Spaniard said previously he would contemplate his next move during the summer break, so as the F1 circus reconvened at Spa, Alonso was asked if he has decided.
"I've always said that September would be the decision month," he answered.
"Today is August 24. So you have to wait."
A few days ago, Alonso admitted that if he cannot secure a winning seat in F1 next year, he may look outside of the category he has raced in since 2001.
However, McLaren clearly wants him to stay, and the rising star of Lando Norris might be seen as pressure on Alonso to ink a new deal.
"I have zero pressure," Alonso insists. "I will take my decision when I want."
But Alonso's alternatives appear scarce, with Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes appearing to have no vacancies for 2018.
"I am not worrying about who has already signed and what is still available," Alonso insisted.
He also said whether McLaren stays with or dumps Honda will not be decisive.
"For me, only the competitiveness of the package matters," the 35-year-old explained.
"The only thing you can guess is that there are three teams where the performance is right. Everything else is speculation."
Alonso does, however, welcome the news that McLaren is keeping his current teammate Stoffel Vandoorne, saying the Belgian has done "a super job" in his rookie year.
"I have always tried to be positive and believe in the team, despite the difficulties," he added.
"Nico Rosberg and Mark Webber have told me they are surprised that I haven't exploded. But what would that do?
"If someone told me we would find a second per lap if I exploded, I would do it. But the guys in the team and at Honda are already giving their all," said Alonso.