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Formula One

Alonso’s Future Dependent on 2017 F1 Car

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Fernando Alonso says next year’s McLaren will determine his future in Formula One.

The Spaniard’s current contract with McLaren extends to the end of the 2017 season, and whether he continues to race in the series will depend on what happens next season.

“In 2017 the regulations will change a lot, the cars will be very different – supposed to be five-seconds faster,” said Alonso on the F1.com website. “So I will drive in 2017, see how much I enjoy driving those cars, and I will make a decision to stay more years or to stop in F1.”

Last season was rough on Alonso, as he ended the year 17th in the final standings with only one top-five finish, which came at Hungaroring. The McLaren Honda team battled mechanical issues throughout the season, and Alonso suffered eight DNFs over the course of the season.

Alonso stated he wants the team to be stronger this year – to challenge for points in each event and push for podium finishes during the second half of the year. He admits that following their struggles, there is a lot of work they must accomplish first.

“For this year the goal is to be often in the points – we must be every race in the points, and then fighting for podiums in the second part of the season,” he said. “We are happy with the starting point, but we know all our competitors are also quite strong so we need to work hard. We are in a better position, but not where we wanted; we are not that strong right now, but we know what we need to change.”

The series has yet to finalize the 2017 Sporting and Technical Regulations, as they recently received an extension until April 30. The Formula One’s Strategy Group asked for the extension to allow all stakeholders to finalize everything, especially in regards to the power unit regulations. The four key areas of focus currently surround cost, obligation to supply, performance convergence and further improvement of noise.

The current changes being discussed, however, include making the cars wider and faster, while introducing a form of cockpit protection. The proposed guidelines, as posted by the series website, can be seen in the table below.

2016 2017
FRONT TYRE WIDTH 245mm 350mm
REAR TYRE WIDTH 325mm 405mm
SUSPENSION TRACK 1800mm 1800mm
FRONT WING SPAN 1650mm 1800mm
REAR WING WIDTH 750mm 950mm
REAR WING HEIGHT 950mm 800mm
BODYWORK WIDTH 1400mm 1600mm
DIFFUSER 125mm high, 1000mm wide 175mm high, 1050mm wide
MAX WEIGHT 702kg 722kg + tyres (est. 5kg)

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Ashley McCubbin is currently studying journalism at the University of Guelph-Humber while writing for multiple websites. She also serves on the managing staff for a select few. Born in North York, Ontario, McCubbin currently lives in Bradford, Ontario and spends her weekend at the local short tracks in the area where she enjoys taking photos and working on websites.

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