Fernando Alonso refutes claim he retired for no reason at Belgian GP

Fernando Alonso has denied he retired from the Belgian Grand Prix prematurely as a move to throw his weight around at McLaren-Honda as its future hangs in the balance.

“About the rumored Williams and Renault switches that have been linked with the Spaniard, he continued: “[Alonso] said, ‘Whatever I do in 2018, I need to be in a race-winning vehicle, where I can fight for wins and titles.’ That’s not going to be in McLaren, it won’t be at Renault, and regardless of how brilliant Paddy Lowe is, and the money that Lawrence Stroll brings, it’s not going to be at Williams”, commented Buxton, “where does that leave a race-winning auto? “More than anything I’m not bigger than a team”, added the 36-year-old, who has said he will decide his future in September. “So we will have to see if the timing of what we have to do with him can work with the timing of the rest of the paddock, which is moving”. We know things are not going in the right direction, we are not competitive enough after three years. We will try to fit that engine tomorrow for FP2 and if it blows up we will change it.

But sources suggest Honda is not especially eager to make the jump to Toro Rosso and does not want to give up on McLaren.

Still widely considered one of the best drivers in the sport, Alonso has made no mystery of his desire to be in a top team next year, but Renault managing director Cyril Abiteboul fears his team might still fall short of his expectations.

“The team has improved a lot in the last three years from the time l arrived here”. I think we have the talent in the team, we have the facilities.

“Absolutely not true”, the Spaniard, who won his titles with Renault more than a decade ago, told reporters at the Italian Grand Prix on Thursday.

But Alonso has all-but ruled out his second return to the Enstone team.

“No”, he said. “Renault will always be in my heart”.

Speaking on this week’s F1 Report NBC’s Will Buxton reveals the news that could see Fernando Alonso leave F1 in favour of a seat in IndyCar for 2018.

Alonso will start the Italian Grand Prix from the back of the grid as a result of Honda fitting a new, upgraded engine to his auto in first practice.

In the aftermath of his frustrating race in Belgium, Alonso quite succinctly summed up exactly what he wants for 2018.

Asked if he had given up at Spa because there was no prospect of a good result, Alonso replied: “I read that, and I am surprised when I read that”. It’s something l need to understand – what are the developments, the next steps. “The main question is can he race again in F1?”

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