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McLaren is currently in its third season using Honda power since ending their association with Mercedes in 2014. It is fair to say that results have not gone as well as they would have liked, with the team yet to register a single podium finish since making the switch.

Star driver Fernando Alonso has often been critical of the Honda engine’s lack of power and reliability and is said to be pushing for a change if he is to sign a new contract.

While there were rumours that the Spaniard had issued a Honda-based ultimatum, McLaren was quick to deny this. However, they have held talks with Renault this weekend about a change.

“We’ve made some progress but we’re not done yet,” McLaren boss Zak Brown said ahead of the Italian Grand Prix.

The team were hindered yet again by engine problems as Stoffel Vandoorne qualified eighth but was forced to drop down to 18th on the grid because of an engine change.

“This is something that cannot keep happening,” ex-F1 driver Johnny Herbert told Sky Sports.

“It keeps on happening. They have to say ‘you’ve had your chance and we have to move on as a team’ because we don’t want to see them struggling as they are. We want to see them up at the front of the grid. It’s over. It’s got to be.

“Renault seems like the perfect partner and the only partner. There’s a better chance of them improving than what we’ve been seeing.

“It hasn’t gone anywhere (with Honda) and there’s a lot of hunger for that to happen.

“They want to see themselves back at the front end which is where they need to be.”

On their part, Renault seems to be happy to strike a deal with McLaren, but that could depend largely on whether Toro Rosso continues to use Renault engines.

“To supply four teams is almost impossible,” said Renault special adviser Alain Prost.

“But if they can come up with a solution where we still only supply three, we’d be happy to look at it.

“I have to put emotion aside, McLaren was a big part of my life. We have been approached.

“They want to have a different situation. We listen but they have to make a decision first.

“But it’s important we don’t compromise our work.”

Prost also spoke about the prospect of luring Alonso into Jolyon Palmer’s potentially vacant seat, but he knows that it will almost definitely depend on the strength of their 2018 package.

“Everything could be decided within one week,” Prost added.

“But we cannot offer Fernando a winning (combination) next year, which is very difficult for a driver of this calibre.”

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