Fernando Alonso could walk out on McLaren before the end of the season, claims Mark Webber

The former Red Bull driver Mark Webber has claimed that it is unlikely Fernando Alonso will see out the season with McLaren, given the team’s crippling reliability issues.

McLaren endured a nightmare start to the new Formula 1 season this weekend, with former world champion Alonso suffering suspension failure late during the Australian Grand Prix to cost him a surprise points finish. His team-mate, Stoffel Vandoorne, meanwhile finished last.

And now Webber, who has a famously good relationship with the Spaniard, has suggested Alonso could walk out on the team if the MCL32’s reliability issues continue.

“Maybe Fernando is not going to be at McLaren for the whole year” Webber told the Belgian news agency Sporza. “Fernando might not do the whole year. He’s frustrated like hell, he doesn’t even want to finish seventh or sixth.

“[His situation] is not like Stoffel Vandoorne’s. Maybe points for him is quite nice. But Fernando is not interested in points, he wants to be fighting for podiums.

“So mentally he’s a long, long way away from where he wants to be.”

Alonso and Webber are good friends away from the track (Getty)

McLaren’s Honda-powered cars suffered from a severely underwhelming winter testing series, with the team beset by slow times as well as an assortment of reliability problems.

These problems unsurprisingly reared their head in Australia on the first race weekend of the season, with Alonso suffering from a suspension problem only a few laps from the finish, to ruin a points finish.

And after the race, a brutally frank Alonso left reporters with no doubt as to the depth of McLaren’s problems.

The Spaniard was frank about McLaren’s problems after the race (Getty)

“I think we are last,” Alonso replied when asked about McLaren’s place in the current Formula 1 pecking order.

“That’s the performance we have now. We were 10th (today) because the qualifying lap we had yesterday was extremely good.

“The start,…

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