The Mercury

One year at a time for Alonso


MADRID: Fernando Alonso says he is only thinking as far ahead as next season, and any extension of his McLaren Formula One contract beyond 2017 will depend on how he feels about the sport.

“I’m 34 and I could go on for more years, but it’s all about motivation and willingnes­s,” the Spaniard said. “I’m just thinking about next year.

“We will see how I feel when the time comes, if I sign a contract extension.”

The double world champion, seventh in Sunday’s Singapore Grand Prix, said the aim was to fight for the championsh­ip next season, when the sport undergoes a major rules revamp.

Former world champions McLaren have not won a race since 2012, and endured a nightmare last season at the start of a new engine partnershi­p with Honda after years with now-dominant Mercedes.

“The hunger is always there. After a year and a half without being close to the podium, I have more motivation. I come out as a lion in every race,” said Alonso.

Whether he stays or goes could determine the fate of British teammate Jenson Button, who is making way for Belgian Stoffel Vandorne next year, but has an option for 2018.

The sport will have wider tyres, new aerodynami­cs and faster cars next year.

“Today’s cars are less attractive, more boring than a few years back,” said Alonso. “It’s not the Formula One that we knew.

“Next year the cars are going to be five seconds faster, and I’m hopeful that Formula One will be more attractive for the driver.” – Reuters

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa