Alonso: Top teams still in "another league" to McLaren

But McLaren team boss Zak Brown appears confident of retaining Alonso as part of his F1 set-up.

Alonso's current contract with the team, who have failed to deliver him a vehicle capable of finishing on the podium at any point during his four-year stay, expires at the end of the season but there are options to extend it.

The Spanish driver is hoping to compete in the famous 24 hr of Le Mans race later this summer and ultimately hopes to become the first driver to achieve the motorsport triple crown of the Monaco GP - which he has already won on two occasions - the Indianapolis 500, in which he competed strongly previous year and the 24hr Le Mans race.

"I think Formula 1 is his passion, but he has been doing it a long time so we have got to see what he wants to do".

"We can be very proud of what we've achieved this weekend as this track was not ideal for us", Sainz said. We just need more new parts and as soon as possible. I'm happy with the progress we did here at McLaren and the direction things are going, so I'm happy here.

"This package is making me happy".

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Alonso has taken on increasing commitments away from Formula One in recent times and is racing in this year's World Endurance Championship having missed last year's Monaco Grand Prix to feature in the Indy 500.

The Spaniard is known for bringing the McLaren through the field on a Sunday, and is one of only three drivers to have scored points in all four races this campaign.

Fernando Alonso schedule 2018: Which races will McLaren star enter this year?

Alonso, who was fifth in the season-opener in Australia and finished seventh in the next three races, said he was hoping for some rain to improve his chances of finishing higher in his home race.

But Alonso himself has brushed off rumours as exactly that.

"We lost positions on the first lap with the incident at Turn 2, so we found ourselves in a very hard position in lap two and then I felt it was impossible to get the points today". While it is still some distance back on Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull, Alonso at least was able to crack the top 10.

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