"I've been here for quite a few years now and I think next year we need to make a bigger step next year than we did this year, to really convince me that I can win with them".
Alonso has scored 10 points so far, while McLaren teammate Stoffel Vandoorne has managed only one.
Red Bull's motivation is clear: it is hopeful Ilmor, having successfully helped Renault to develop its struggling power unit, will be able to turn around Honda's miserable situation in the low-pressure Toro Rosso environment, after which Red Bull Racing will partner with the Japanese company in a works supply deal.
Rossi is a seven-time premier-class champion and is still fighting for titles and grand prix victories at the age of 38, while contending with the rise of the likes of Marc Marquez in recent years.
Just three years after the now former McLaren boss uttered those ironically prescient words, the partnership collapsed.
"I want an opportunity to be able to win week in and week out, while I believe I am still at the top".
"I just want to see what will happen at the beginning of 2018 and then we will know".
"I've been with Red Bull for quite a few years now and the difference is when I joined Red Bull racing they were the champions, so in my mind I was getting into the best vehicle in the grid".
Asked at today's FIA press conference if he had other options if F1 doesn't work out for him, the Spaniard replied: "There are options everywhere. and they are all very good". "Game of chess" Alonso past year skipped Monaco to race the Indy 500 but he seemed hopeful that he would contest the famous street grand prix next season.
"Since 2014 I felt if I was in a Mercedes I believed I could have won and a year ago as well".
However, he promised: "For my fans and motorsport lovers, they will have a fanatic 2018 season". "The priority is Formula One. and the Triple Crown is in the background".
At first McLaren wanted simply to abandon Honda in favour of any alternative, but all three of Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault declined to supply more than their two current customer teams.
"After they take a decision, I will take mine", the Spanish driver said Thursday at the Singapore Grand Prix.