Alonso says motivation is key to contract extension
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[September 19, 2016]
MADRID (Reuters) - 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 told Cadena Ser radio.
"I'm just thinking about next year.
"We will see how I feel when the time comes, if I sign a contract
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 one 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, who joined from Ferrari at the end of
Whether he stays or goes could determine the fate of British team
mate Jenson Button, who is making way for Belgian Stoffel Vandorne
next year but has an option for 2018.
The sport will have wider tires, new aerodynamics and faster cars in
"Today's cars are less attractive, more boring than with respect to
a few years back," said Alonso. "It's not the Formula One that we
"Next year, with the change of rules, the cars are going to be five
seconds faster and I'm hopeful that Formula One will be more
attractive for the driver."
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McLaren's Fernando Alonso after qualifying Reuters / Andrew Boyers
The Spaniard, who won his titles with Renault, predicted that this
year's battle between Mercedes pair Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton
would go down to the wire.
Rosberg won in Singapore to move eight points clear of triple world
champion Hamilton, who was Alonso's team mate at McLaren in 2007,
with six races remaining.
"It's going to go be close until the end," said Alonso. "The
reliability of the car will be key."
The Spaniard said McLaren were stepping up the pace.
"Just 12 months ago, we left Singapore with the two cars having
abandoned the race," he said. "The line that we have followed since
has been tremendously good and it's up to us now to continue to work
until next March to keep it up."
(Reporting by Adriana Garcia, editing by Alan Baldwin)
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