Fernando Alonso says his Formula One future will hinge on regulation changes introduced next year.
F1 is due a facelift in 2017, with wider tyres and an overhaul of the aerodynamic regulations set to produce a grid of faster, more aggressive-looking cars. Alonso has long been an advocate of making F1 cars more physical for drivers and sees 2017 as a crucial year for the sport as a whole.
"It's very important," he said. "It's an important season for McLaren, for this project and I think also for Formula One because in the last couple of years there was a lot of negative feedback about Formula One.
"We changed the engines, we changed the TV agreements with some paid TV so there is less spectators. We have less noise from the cars. So there were a lot of negatives coming to Formula One. So next year I think it's an important year for the sport.
Alonso will be out of contract with McLaren at the end of next year and says his decision on whether to seek another contract in F1 will depend largely on his feeling from behind the wheel in 2017.
"In my case it's no different, it's an important year. I have next year also a contract with McLaren, and yeah we'll wait to see how these cars feel, how attractive they are from a driver point of view and then make the decision on my future -- if I stay in the contract or I look for some other challenge."
Alonso believes the current formula does not reward "pure talent" as much as it should do.
"No it's not easy. Let's say that it's different. And it's just a formula that yeah it's all about managing everything in the car. It's not about pushing or about the pure talent of maximising the packages.
"It's just about managing the batteries, managing the tyres, managing the fuel, managing the race pace. So, it's a bit more difficult or a little bit easier in a way that you don't need pure talent to be fast."