Alonso: No decision on McLaren future before September

The 35-year-old driver said that he would quit if the schedule grew to 25 races, noting it was a quality of life issue for him. "You can not be 100 percent now in June about a decision for next year that I don't even start to consider".

"If the calendar stays 20, 21 [races], this range we know, I will be happy to continue, if it increases like NASCAR, 40 [or] 50 races, it's not for me, it's better for other drivers".

"We are in a number that is quite demanding already with the life you have between the preparation, the sponsor events, the tests, the commitments, plus 20 or 21 races". If there are 25 or 26 races maybe it's good in some aspects but in others, how demanding becomes your life? You know, if we are winning before September or something like that, that I will make a decision.

The two-time world champion, who revelled in the freedom he experienced at the Indianapolis 500 two weeks ago, when he retired while running seventh, cited two possible reasons for making an exit after 16 years. "He wants to race at the front of the field".

"After the last race, there was a lot of information for the engineers to be working on but we didn't have all the solutions and the answers at that point", he said. "The experience of qualifying was fantastic - all four laps at the limit". Here, it's more. Formula One is bigger in every sense.

"That's the only thing I can say now until I sit down with myself in September or October - after the summer, as I always said". I was good in qualifying.

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"We have to win", he said.

Considering McLaren already is considering changing suppliers for 2018, Alonso's threat could provide the impetus to kick Honda to the curb.

However, it would affect the team's financial position as the Honda deal equates to a net $100m gain for McLaren over using a customer engine because the Japanese auto manufacturer not only provides free engines but also pay half the drivers' salaries and contribute a significant amount of sponsorship.

The double world champion's comments ahead of Sunday's Canadian Grand Prix blow apart the consensus of silence that has shielded Liberty from paddock criticism for even their crankiest ideas. The British team are the second most successful Formula One team in terms of race wins but they have reached the nadir of their motorsport existence since re-uniting with the multinational.

It is one of his favourite stops on the F1 circuit.

The renewed partnership with Honda in 2015 was billed as a return to the glory days, when French great Alain Prost and the late Brazilian Ayrton Senna dominated the late 1980s and early 1990s.

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