McLaren expect future with Honda to be sorted within fortnight

McLaren have been with engine manufacturer Honda since 2015. Credit: PA

McLaren expect their future with Honda to be resolved before the next race in Singapore after holding talks with Formula One chairman Chase Carey and FIA president Jean Todt on the eve of the Italian Grand Prix.

Todt and Carey met with Zak Brown, McLaren's American executive director, for lunch at the team's motorhome here in Monza, prior to another disappointing race for the British outfit with both Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne failing to make it to the finish.

While representatives of both the sport's owners and McLaren said a variety of subjects were discussed during the 30-minute summit, the British team's strained relationship with Honda is likely to have dominated the agenda.

McLaren want to split with Honda and run Renault engines next year, but both the FIA and Formula One Management are keen for the beleaguered Japanese manufacturer to remain in the sport.

McLaren would then be relying on Honda to stay and instead power Red Bull's junior team Toro Rosso, who currently use Renault engines, next season to make the deal work.

"The situation is complicated because you want the best for F1 as well and it is not just for McLaren," said Eric Boullier, the team's racing director who was also present at the talks.

"Whatever happens, there have been good, collaborative work with all of the parties in the paddock to try and make the best of the situation."

Asked if he anticipated a resolution before the Singapore Grand Prix in a fortnight's time, Boullier replied: "I think so and I hope so.

"We need to know what we do and where we go because there is a timing issue with design of next year's car."

McLaren are ninth of 10 entrants in this year's constructors' championship and Alonso's retirement here on Sunday was his eighth of the season.

Alonso, 36, is out of contract at the end of the campaign, but it is expected he will sign a new deal on the proviso McLaren are powered by Renault next year.

Should Honda remain, Alonso will, however, be left with few, if any alternatives other than to stay at McLaren, given the lack of available seats further up the grid.

Alonso, who won the last of his two championships more than a decade ago, spent much of Sunday's race rowing with British driver Jolyon Palmer.

Palmer was given a five-second penalty by the stewards after he jumped the chicane while duelling with the Spaniard for a lowly 12th position.

Alonso was incensed by Palmer's actions and described his retirement later in the race as "karma" before taking aim at the stewards.

"When we arrived at the chicane we were side by side," Alonso said. "We braked late and I managed to take the chicane, but he didn't and he jumped it and stayed in front.

"Usually that's something that's very clear in the rules. When two cars are side by side at the chicane and one gets to take it and one doesn't, you give back the position, but this time the FIA must have been having a Heineken.

"It was not up to F1 standards. There is not an interpretation possible there. It is black and white."