Alonso: I am with Mclaren for 2016 and 2017
Fernando Alonso eased concern about his Formula 1 future on ahead of the Russian Grand Prix weekend by confirming he would definitely be racing for struggling McLaren next year and in 2017.
The Spaniard had triggered speculation that he could walk away from the sport after he told television reporters in Japan last month that he did not know whether he would be in Formula one next year.
Asked at the Russian Grand Prix whether he would be racing for McLaren next year, the double world champion replied: ‘Yes of course”.
Pressed further for an assurance that he was 100 percent certain, Alonso added: “And 17”.
Former champions McLaren, the second most successful team in the sport, are enduring their worst season and have scored just 17 points from 14 races.
In Japan last month, Alonso kicked up a storm when he criticised Honda’s under-performing power unit over the team radio, calling it ’embarrassing’ and comparing it to an engine from the GP2 support series.
The Spaniard told reporters in Sochi that his comments were simply down to normal frustration and suggested that there should be a silencer on broadcasting such messages to the world at large.
“What you talk on the radio should remain private because you are talking with your team not publicly,” he said. “Publicly…we have been very, very positive all the time.
“This is a very unique sport, that we have a microphone in our helmet and it goes live on television. Imagine in NBA or football players or something like that what we can find.
“I’m happy it was only broadcast in Suzuka because if you hear all the races, all the radio messages from me or from (team mate) Jenson (Button) or whatever, you will be even more surprised.”
Alonso, who will be starting his 250th grand prix, can expect more frustration this weekend with the Spaniard set to start from the back of the grid due to a penalty of around 35 places.
Honda have used up their last four ‘tokens’ to develop their engine this season, which means that while Alonso will get an updated version for Russia he will also pay the price for exceeding his allocation.
“I think it’s going to be more or less the same at the remaining races: trying to get some more information about the car and more philosophies on the car to set up for next year as well,” he said.