Fernando Alonso is a time bomb waiting to explode as McLaren could discover next season if their car remains uncompetitive, according to friend and former Formula One rival Mark Webber.
“It looks like between the pair of them (Alonso and McLaren), there obviously something happening,” the Australian told Reuters at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Sunday.
McLaren boss Ron Dennis mentioned on Saturday the possibility of the double world champion, who has two years remaining on his contract, taking a sabbatical next season rather than endure another year as bad as 2015.
Alonso, who has made his feelings evident during McLaren’s worst ever season, said in response his intention was to race next year but fell short of a 100 per cent commitment.
Webber, now a world endurance champion with Porsche, had told the BBC on Saturday the Spaniard was “a ticking time bomb” and he stuck by that view a day later.
“He is,” said the former Red Bull driver.
“That’s his style, we’ve seen it. That’s why we love him. You never know what’s coming round the bend.
“He’s his own man, he’s doing his own thing … but we’ve seen him already this year boil over to a degree,” said Webber, who shares a manager with Alonso in Italian Flavio Briatore.
“I think winter testing will be interesting.”
Alonso’s on-track outbursts have made headlines as former champions McLaren’s woes became increasingly embarrassing.
In Japan, engine partners Honda’s home race, the Spaniard compared the under-performing and unreliable power unit to one used in the GP2 support series in comments made over the team radio.
In Brazil, he triggered a social media storm when he retired from qualifying without completing a timed lap and spent the rest of the session sitting on a picnic chair by the side of the track.