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Back-up plan in place at McLaren if Alonso leaves


If Fernando Alonso ends up throwing in the towel at McLaren, the Woking-based outfit has a substitute plan in place insists Zak Brown.

The McLaren-Honda-Alonso three-pronged quandary is heading towards a resolution - one way or the other.

But should McLaren lose its star driver at the end of the day, it has devised several alternatives.

"Negotiations are ongoing and they are going very well," Brown told reporters at Monza.

"I'll be spending more time with him this weekend, and his decision is going to be based on whether he thinks we're going to be competitive or not. He's not been engine-specific in his desires," Brown said.

"He hasn't signed with us yet, negotiations are ongoing, they are going very well, but you've got to have Plan B and C, in the event that you don't reach an agreement, and we've got those plans."

It appears almost certain that the two-time world champion won't prolong his stay at McLaren for a fourth year if Honda is retained, but options outside Woking are also limited for Alonso.

"I'm going to have to sit down with all the options that we have and decide what's the best one," said Alonso on Friday.

"I believe there are options in the market to be winning next year and that's going to be my only intention, and if I can't find them or see them, I'll try to win wherever I go.

"But I think it will go well and I'm optimistic," he added.

When asked about Alonso's eventual IndyCar aspirations, and a rumor that Andretti-Autosports had offered the Spaniard a seat on the team, Brown didn't believe his driver would be heading east next year.

"My personal view is it's fake news, to use a U.S. president's term," Brown told RACER.

"Obviously, there were also rumors going around about him doing Sonoma, which was complete nonsense."

"Fernando's his own man, but I'd be very surprised if there was any truth to [IndyCar in 2018]," he added.

"Personally, I don't think there's anything to it. He's a free agent at the end of the year, he loved doing IndyCar, I think he would like to do IndyCar again, but in my conversations with him, he's been very focused on remaining in Formula 1."

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