Fernando Alonso has recently opened up again about his prospects for 2018, saying he is holding off on a decision as long as possible. He did also confirm that apart from his current McLaren Honda outfit, he has other options on the table.
When asked about his future once again at Spa, Alonso said he expects a decision will be needed soon.
"I will have a think and take decisions in the next month. I will wait and I will take the best decision for me and the one that makes me more happier next year.
"I'm very relaxed. I will wait as long as possible to have better and more clear ideas and more clear projects, so let's see."
"Definitely I have some offers. I did have offers in June, in July, in August.
"60 per cent of them I said no already and the other 40 is still on the table."
The confidence that Alonso has in Honda may be at an all time low, but what to say about Williams? The team were completely lost in qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix, a track that should suit the FW38 extremely well, given it favors power, something Williams certainly does not lack with the Mercedes engine in the back of its car.
Williams' Felipe Massa put the knife deeper in the wound after qualifying, by underlining the problem once again.
"The others are going forwards, we are going backwards", Massa commented.
"It is pretty clear that we need to really improve development, we need to improve the pieces we put on the car to make the car better. That’s not what’s happening at the moment."
Of course, the matter could be different if the team would, or already is focusing entirely on 2018, and just abandon the current season. Under the helm of Paddy Lowe, whose experience from Mercedes must certainly be helpful, the team may indeed be looking for a major upturn next season.
But then, one can ask if that would be anything less of a gamble than staying with McLaren Honda.
Williams does have less resources, and has a whole lot to catch up on the chassis side, whereas McLaren seems to have its chassis reasonably sorted, but are somehow waiting for Honda to turn things around.
The latter issue is still something that needs to be worked on. It is clear that Honda is pulling out all stops to upgrade step by step, but the discovery of an issue on Vandoorne's new specification engine after Friday's running at Spa is not going to help build confidence at Woking.