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2018 F1

‘McLaren to switch to Mercedes for 2018 F1’

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‘McLaren F1 team to ditch hapless Honda-engines and switch to Mercedes next season in bid to keep Fernando Alonso’, says the British newspaper Daily Mail.

The Woking based F1 squad need to find a quick solution is increased due to Alonso being out of contract at the end of the season. The Spaniard has said he will announce his future plans after the summer break

Mail reports that McLaren’s patience with their struggling engine partners has finally snapped and the team are willing to take a £78m financial hit in order to switch back to Mercedes.

‘McLaren’s long-standing shareholder Mansour Ojjeh talked at length in the paddock in Montreal ahead of Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix to Mercedes’ F1 chairman Niki Lauda and team principal Toto Wolff about the new arrangement,’ they report.

McLaren’s racing director – Eric Boullier, told Sportsmail that he did not expect the deal to be concluded before the next race in Baku, Azerbaijan, a week on Sunday.

McLaren privately believe their objective will be delivered on.

Last weekend at Canada, Honda failed to deliver on a promise to upgrade its unhappily unreliable and underperforming power unit.

Then, Alonso retired within sight of the team’s first point of 2017.

“It’s difficult to find the words to express our disappointment, our frustration and our sadness,” said team boss Boullier. It’s simply and absolutely not good enough.”

Alonso not ruling out 2018 Indycar switch

Alonso is no longer ruling out quitting F1 at the end of the year. Earlier, the Spaniard said that despite the difficulty of his last three seasons with McLaren-Honda, he was fully committed to trying to win a third title beyond 2017.

But that was before he obviously enjoyed the experience of skipping Monaco and being competitive in the fabled Indy 500.

So when asked if he might switch full-time to the Indycar series for 2018, he said on Sunday: “Why not? I’m very open to anything.

“I would be lying if I said I know what will happen next year.”

Marc Surer, a former F1 driver and now commentator for German television Sky, said he thinks a full Indy switch is actually a probably outcome for Spaniard.

“Basically, there are only three ways for Fernando,” he said.

“He either stays at McLaren-Honda, he returns to Renault, or he does a full season in Indycar.

“On the normal (Indy) tracks he would beat his opponents, and he has shown at Indianapolis that he can learn about the ovals.

“Alonso wants to win races again and he can most likely do that in Indycar,” Surer added

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