Despite the uncertainty surrounding his F1 future, Fernando Alonso is back from the summer break and raring to go!
The Spanish driver and his McLaren-Honda team should soon be reaching a decision which shall be twofold: will Alonso continue with McLaren next year, and will the Woking-based outfit pursue its partnership with engine partner Honda?
In the interim, the two-time world champion heads to Spa, one of his favourite venues.
"I love the first race after the summer break! It’s a great feeling to come back feeling rested, relaxed and recharged, and ready to go again for the second half of the season," says Alonso.
"I’ve enjoyed time away with family and friends, worked hard on my training and now I’m really looking forward to getting back in the car.
"Spa is incredible – for many of us it’s one of our favourite tracks. It’s got a legendary reputation and it’s totally deserved.
"The feeling when you drive Eau Rouge is completely different to any other corner on the calendar.
"You’re so low in the car and the gradient is so steep that as you go up it you can only see the sky – it’s completely surreal."
While he has yet to decide his fate for 2018, Alonso speaks positively of his prospects with a team which he says is only improving. A sign he may have already made up his mind for next year.
"As the season goes on we’re getting stronger and stronger, and I hope the second half of the year will bring us some more points-earning finishes.
"This race is a difficult challenge for the whole team – the engineers and the mechanics – as you’re on the throttle for almost three-quarters of the lap, which makes it’s a tough circuit for both the car and the driver.
"We know we’ll have to work hard to get any kind of result there, but it’s a long lap and there are plenty of overtaking opportunities, so we’ll keep pushing to get everything we can from the weekend."