Alonso denies he wants to leave McLaren

Fernando Alonso has rubbished suggestions that he is looking for a way out of McLaren on the back of its frustrating Formula 1 campaign.

With his Woking-based team having performed much worse than Alonso expected, there has been speculation over the Japanese GP weekend that the Spaniard wants to race elsewhere.

The rumours intensified after his manager Flavio Briatore told media that if Alonso was not given the chance to fight for podiums next year, he would quit before his current three-year contract ends.

But speaking at Suzuka, Alonso insisted he remained committed to McLaren and the focus was on trying to make the progress that he and the team so desperately need.

"I definitely can tell you I will not go anywhere else," explained Alonso.

"I am in this project because I trust this project and I think McLaren with the potential and Honda with the potential, both companies have, it is just a matter of time before they will win again.

"They are one of the best in the business. Unfortunately we are in a difficult time and the starting point was quite low.

"But we are making progress as fast as we can and hopefully we can make this in as short a time as possible."

No hidden agenda

Alonso downplayed the significance of Briatore's remarks, but did make it clear that he was obviously not happy being unable to fight for podiums or wins right now.

"There is nothing new," he said. "I am happy here, happy with the progress that we are making, happy with the challenge that we have in front of us.

"I am happy with working with the philosophy and discipline that I found this year, working with one of the greatest teams and greatest engineers I work with in my career.

"So I am enjoying this process in terms of how we are improving things and how we are making progress.

"But at the same time, and it is no secret, we are here to win and we are here to fight for championships – especially after decisions that I made last year, with second or third I was not totally happy after five years at Ferrari.

"I am here to win and if we are not winning, I can enjoy the process and enjoy working with the guys, but definitely you are not so happy when you start 14th after you do one of the best laps I did at Suzuka. So we need to make this tough time as short as possible."

Team committed

McLaren racing director Eric Boullier added that his outfit had no doubts Alonso would remain, while reiterating that it still planned to keep Jenson Button alongside him next year.

"The team position is quite clear, obviously," explained Boullier.

"We are happy with both drivers. We always say we do intend to keep Jenson when I have been asked, and Fernando has been clear. He will be with us next year."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Fernando Alonso
Teams McLaren
Article type Breaking news