“I did not speak to him until Thursday but at the end of the day it would have been more constructive if he had known I had no intention to exercise our option to terminate his contract”.
But the Englishman has not stepped foot on the podium since his last victory at the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix in 2012 and has only scored six points this term. Jenson has a two-year contract, Fernando has a three-year contract.
Later, after being passed by Max Verstappen’s Toro Rosso, he repeated “GP2 engine, GP2”.
Both he and Alonso were harsh in their criticism of Honda’s engine after finishing 16th and 11th respectively.
But the drivers are not the only ones disillusioned by the ongoings this season.
“McLaren, without a title sponsor since 2013, after losing Vodafone, and who will be another £20m worse off next year after Johnnie Walker and Santander withdrew their backing, are hoping to announce a new sponsor in the next few weeks”.
Alonso has not lost his skills.
“There’s not much to enjoy on track”, Alonso told Sky Sports F1 after the race.
The team have remarkably presented a picture of unity and belief in their progress, despite this season’s problems.
The Japanese Grand Prix was barely over when McLaren’s inner turmoil was exposed, as neither Jenson Button nor Fernando Alonso chose to confirm team boss Ron Dennis’ pre-race assertion that both would “be in Melbourne next year, 100 per cent”.
But now things have turned ugly for the team.
Asked in the Suzuka paddock whether the frustrated world champions would be staying, Dennis replied: “Yes, what more do you want?”.
“When you are uncompetitive you have to develop your way out of it, and at the moment the regulations are extremely constraining in that area”. Take the case of Button during qualifying, the Briton bowing out before the end of Q1.
So what now for McLaren? If we have that in Formula One, I want to race.
And then there is the simple matter that the McLaren is not actually aerodynamically brilliant, a facet overshadowed by the fact that the Honda engine has such underperformance.
With only five rounds of the 2015 Formula 1 World Championship season remaining, McLaren-Honda has managed just four top ten finishes so far this season, its struggles with the Honda engine in particular typified on home soil at Suzuka when a bright start magnified the speed differential of rivals as they came back through. You have to be 25 to participate in such things, which would rule out McLaren’s back-up youngsters Stoffel Vandoorne and Kevin Magnussen should Button and Alonso decide to decamp. They insist they are in it for the long-term but clearly patience is running thin with all parties.