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Alonso says he isn’t going anywhere from F1

McLaren driver admits move to WEC is an option in the future but it is not an immediate goal

Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News
Fernando Alonso of McLaren Honda Formula1 team during the first practice session conference at the 2016 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at Yas Marina circuit on Friday.
Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: McLaren’s Fernando Alonso has brushed aside speculation of him making a switch to the World Endurance Championship (WEC) by saying that he is fully committed to McLaren in Formula one.

There were doubts about his future following his comments on Mark Webber’s retirement from racing at the WEC finale in Bahrain last week.

Alonso triggered fresh rumours after wishing Webber a happy retirement saying, “I will ask you many things when I join your adventure.”

Though Alonso confirmed that in future such a move cannot be ruled out, he affirmed as of now he was staying put with Formula One.

“I’m committed to F1 100 per cent next year here with the team. There is no doubt that, for future, it’s a very attractive challenge and a very attractive thing to do the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

“I like the category, I like the cars, and as I said, it’s a good challenge. But that future, I don’t know if it means in two years’ time, in five years’ time, or in 11 years’ time. I don’t know yet. It’s nothing new,” said Alonso.

He added: The first thing that I want to do, and I will do, is to win a third world championship in F1 and then I will see.”

A struggling McLaren-Honda are in the top ten in the drivers’ championship and a lot of credit should go to Alonso. He has been far better than his teammate Jenson Button this season with eight-point finishes — and revealed he was pretty happy with his showing in 2016.

“I consider this year on a very high standard from my driving part of view. So happy with the things that we’ve done, happy with the progress of the team as well, so a completely different taste this final race in Abu Dhabi. Twelve months ago we were disappointed. Sad but many things were going on in our heads last year,” said Alonso, who went to the extent of putting his 2005 and 2006 F1 World Championship efforts behind this season’s performance.

“I would say 2012 is probably my best season in F1. Then it could be 2014 my second best. Then probably this one will be on the final step of the podium so far. I felt very confident in the car in every condition. That confidence in the car gave me the opportunity to drive at the limit on many occasions. Jenson is an incredible driver. Last year, I experienced that and saw that and this year I was able to be in front of him many, many times.”