Fernando Alonso has dismissed claims from friend and former rival Mark Webber that he is a 'ticking bomb' ready to explode if next year's McLaren proves to be a flop in pre-season testing.
Speculation about Alonso's future erupted at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix when McLaren chief Ron Dennis revealed on Saturday that he was open to the idea of the Spaniard taking a year off if the 2016 car does not come up to scratch.
Alonso himself later confirmed that he had spoken about the idea with Dennis several months ago, but made it clear that his intention right now was to race next season.
That did not stop Webber suggesting, however, that the situation could be very different next February if the team's 2016 challenger does not come up to scratch.
"I think he is a ticking bomb," Webber told the BBC. "I think give him two or three days in the car and if the car is uncompetitive I think he'll have a year off."
But Alonso has said that he does not think the bomb suggestion is the reality, and that his mind frame is very much of making a success of his switch to McLaren.
When asked if he felt he was a 'ticking bomb', Alonso said: “I don't think so. I know I am aware of the situation, and there has been some frustration in some of the races this year.
“But I have been always very calm, and very positive. And not just this year, but also the last seven or eight years. Sometimes in dramatic races, losing the championship with strategic mistakes in the last race, I was never a bomb.
"Other people throwing their cup [trophy] on the podium are more a bomb than me. But people always say something about me because they remember me, even in the close season.”