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Alonso keen to extend Ferrari contract

NEWS STORY
03/09/2014

Despite the prospect of a season in which he fails to win a single race for the first time since 2009, Fernando Alonso wants to extend his contract with Ferrari.

Ahead of his team's home race at Monza, which only a miracle or unthinkable upset will see them win, the Spaniard told reporters that he is happy with the Maranello outfit and wants to stay.

"It's a year now that I've been saying I want to stay at Ferrari and extend my contract," he said. "That's my wish, I repeat it every two weeks, at the end of every race, yet it's never said. Talk of other teams has never come from my lips, in fact it's always been the opposite."

Traditionally, Monza is a vital weekend for Ferrari in terms of PR, often making driver announcements at this time - witness the dumping of Michael Schumacher in favour of Kimi Raikkonen - and sudden boosts in performance on Saturday... just in time to get a few more bums on seats in the stands for the race.

At a time when many are wondering how the Spaniard, who has consistently delivered beyond the call of duty for the team, how much longer he will stick it out for, and team boss Marco Mattiacci insistence that there is no performance clause in his contract, Alonso's blind faith in his team, while admirable, is sure to raise eyebrows.

"I have a contract for another two years and as I always say on the subject of rumours and to ensure calm, what I want is to continue for the necessary years," he said. "Let's see if that can happen, but for the next two years at least, there is no problem.

"There is a passion for this team, which as a driver means you are already proud of what you are doing, independent of the results," he insisted. "The most important thing is to fix the things that are not going well on the car and in the team and to do everything that is needed.

"Mattiacci also shares this desire to change things and to be more aggressive in our approach to our work," he continued. "This renewed will to win makes staying at Ferrari even more attractive."

"I've still got lots of seasons ahead of me. I could have another ten. It's a question of enjoying what you do and to still want to get up in the morning to train, to get on planes and fly to Australia and Malaysia, to race with a top car and to still get a good feeling from it all. As long as I have that desire and these feelings, I am not setting a time limit."

Chris Balfe

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