Fernando Alonso has made it clear that he wants to be assured of a winning car as he weighs up his options for the 2018 Formula 1 season.
Alonso’s decision to join McLaren-Honda in 2015 has backfired so far, with the Japanese manufacturer’s troubles consigning the Spaniard to the rear of the field.
The two-time world champion is yet to finish on the podium since leaving Ferrari and hasn’t scored a point since last year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
With his McLaren contract due to expire at the end of the year, Alonso insists that he is unwilling to “gamble” with his next team choice.
The 35-year-old, however, hasn’t ruled out staying at McLaren, having previously stated that he wouldn’t jump ship if the Woking-squad scores a victory by September.
"As I said many times, I want to win next year and I don't want to gamble too much in any decision, I want to be more or less safe in wherever I go for," he told Sky Sports News.
"Very open for anything so let's see what the next months bring for McLaren, because it's a team that I'm running now, a team that I like and in the last two or three years we've put a lot of effort in all together to grow up in this project. We'll see what happens."
He added: "There are some movements out there. I know there are even more movements than probably we all know and there are some teams we think are set for next year, I don't think it's so clear that they are 100 per cent confirmed.
“So I think there will be a lot of changes for next year. I will try to stay calm and pick up the best decision for next year."
In recent weeks, McLaren has started openly venting their frustration at Honda, saying “something needs to change” for their relation to continue beyond the current year.
The British outfit is now open to scrap their $100 million annual deal with the Japanese manufacturer and return to Mercedes as customers, but no decision has been taken so far.
But Alonso says the engine make doesn’t matter to him as long as he gets a competitive package.
"Obviously in McLaren at the moment we are not very competitive and we know one of the parts, the engine side, is not competitive enough to win," Alonso added.
"I'm sure that the team is exploring whatever possibility to make this competitive and hopefully next year McLaren will be in a different position. It's what we all want but in my case, it's independent to whatever engine they have.
"I just want to win. We'll see what happens."
by Rachit Thukral