Ron Dennis insists Fernando Alonso will continue to race for McLaren for the duration of his contract despite rumours on the contrary saying the Spaniard is thinking about retiring from the sport.
The McLaren CEO feels Alonso will remain a McLaren-Honda driver despite the disappointing start to the season where the MP4/30 has been off the pace and without a point through the first four races.
“He has a straight three-year contract with us, with no options,” said Dennis on the official Formula 1 website. “It’s as simple as that.
“That’s what we wanted to offer him, and that’s what he wanted to sign. I can’t make it plainer than that, can I? Fernando is a winner, and that’s why we hired him. McLaren is a winner, as is Honda, as is McLaren-Honda specifically, and that’s why he joined us.
“When he arrived, at the beginning of this year, as I’ve said, we were significantly off the pace. We’re still off the pace, although we’re making good progress towards our eventual destination, which is the front of the grid. Fernando knows that.
“The Fernando we’re working with today, now, is a fantastically motivated and inspirational man. He’s as quick as ever, as competitive as ever, more experienced than ever, more expert than ever, and he combines those traits with an infectious energy and enthusiasm.”
Dennis also feels the McLaren-Honda partnership will win again together, and when it happens he expects them to dominate, but appreciates in the meantime that both Alonso and team-mate Jenson Button will have to work through the hard times.
“We’ll win again, we’ll dominate again, and we’ll do that together, with Fernando front and central,” said Dennis.
“It’ll be a wonderful culmination to his glittering career, and all at McLaren and all at Honda are utterly dedicated to the task of working with him, with Jenson and with everyone else, to help him achieve it.”