Alonso rubbishes quit claim


Ahead of a weekend that even his team admits will expose its weaknesses, Fernando Alonso insists he has no intention of walking away from one of the biggest challenges of his racing career.

Now in the third year of his second stint with the Woking outfit, few would argue that the Spaniard has done well to maintain his composure as Honda continues to flounder from one crisis to another.

Though the team took a step forward last year, this season looks set to be on a par with 2015 as Honda appears to fall back two or three steps for every step it moves forward.

Such is the lack of competitiveness of the McLaren-Honda, such is the lack of power and reliability, Mark Webber recently opined that he doesn't believe the Spaniard will see out the full season.

"Maybe Fernando is not going to be at McLaren for the whole year" the Australian told Sporza. " He's frustrated like hell, he doesn't even want to finish seventh or sixth.

"It's not like Vandoorne's situation," he continued. "Maybe points for him is quite nice, but Fernando is not interested in points, he wants to be fighting for podiums. So mentally he's a long, long way away from where he wants to be."

Speaking in Shanghai today, ahead of the second round of the season, Alonso dismissed his friend's claim.

"That is definitely not true," he told reporters. "It is normal from the outside for drivers to speak. If one ex-driver or motorbike rider has an interview there is always one question about Alonso and how difficult the situation is.

"Everyone is quite close to me and it is like I have a depression and it is not like that," he continued. "I am in Formula One. I am delivering at my best. I am more prepared than ever. I prefer to be here than in the supermarket of my home town."

Indeed, whatever happens with McLaren, come season end the Spaniard is a free agent, and already some are hoping that he might do what many hoped he might do late last year following Nico Rosberg's retirement... head to Mercedes to partner Lewis Hamilton, thereby rekindling a relationship that previously shook the sport to its foundations and irreparably damaged McLaren in the process.

"I have nothing to say right now, it is a question for the future," said the Spaniard, when asked about a move to Brackley. "Nothing is ruled out in life.

"There are no problems with Lewis," he insisted. "We respect each other a lot and the problems we had in 2007 were because the team was not managed properly."

Check out our Thursday gallery from Shanghai, here.

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Published: 06/04/2017
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