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2017-07-06 12:49

BETTER DAYS NEEDED: F1 driver Fernando Alonso is beyond frustrated with his current team's problems. Image: AFP / Mark Thompson

Austria - Fernando Alonso has played down expectations about Honda's 'new' engine ahead of the 2017 Austrian grand prix this weekend.

Amid strong rumours about a McLaren-Honda divorce, the struggling Japanese manufacturer tested the 'spec 3' unit in Baku and both drivers will race it in Spielberg.

Honda F1 boss Yusuke Hasegawa said: "I am looking forward to seeing our performance."

But Alonso is not optimistic.

'Any upgrade is welcome'

At an FIA event in Vienna, he is quoted by EFE news agency: "I think the engine is good for the team to do a press release, but it is practically the same.

"Any upgrade is welcome, but there is no change with the new engine. We already tried it in Baku practice, but we were last and second to last."

So asked what is expecting from the 'spec 3' Honda in Austria, he answered bluntly: "Nothing."

Alonso's comments come amid intense speculation he is targeting a seat at Mercedes or Ferrari for 2018, but he said his future is not a topic "until September".

A move to Mercedes seems unlikely.

Team chairman Niki Lauda told Sport Bild: "Alonso cannot come to us.  Lewis (Hamilton) has a contract.

"Valtteri (Bottas) brings a great performance too, both harmonise well. There is simply no space with us."

Read more on:    mclaren  |  honda  |  fernando alonso  |  f1

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