The rumour swirling around the Yas Marina paddock is that while McLaren-Honda is confident of an improvement in 2016, it may not be enough to keep the Spaniard – arguably the best driver in the sport today – sufficiently interested.
“It’s a shame,” Bernie Ecclestone told Spain’s Marca, “that we have two of the best drivers – world champions – with no chance.
“I don’t know how they’re going to put it right, but for sure it will not be easy for them (McLaren) to be competitive in the short term,” the F1 supremo added in Abu Dhabi.
“The other top teams are very strong — they (McLaren) may have to wait a little longer,” Ecclestone said.
Alonso was quoted as admitting that he is not getting the answers he is asking for when enquiring about McLaren’s plans for its 2016 car.
“I’ve asked the same question today and the engineers have not told me,” he said.
“I’m told it will be a longer process (to know), maybe weeks,” Alonso added.
McLaren supremo Ron Dennis – having missed the past couple of races – is in Abu Dhabi this weekend and he told reporters that a sabbatical for Alonso is possible.
“He will definitely finish his career in McLaren,” he said.
“I have an open mind to anything. Some of the ideas have involved those sorts of considerations — sabbatical years,” Dennis said.