Ron Dennis insists Fernando Alonso will end his Formula 1 career with the McLaren-Honda team, but the Spaniard could take a sabbatical in 2016 should next years car not be competitive.
The 2015 season has been full of disappointments for Alonso following his return to the team, with a fourth place finish in Hungary the best result, but the year has been hampered by reliability and pace issues with his MP4/30.
It is believed that should the 2016 McLaren appear to be uncompetitive during pre-season testing next year, Alonso could effectively take a year out of the sport.
“He will definitely finish his career with McLaren,” revealed McLaren Technology Group CEO Dennis. “I have an open mind to anything, and some of the ideas have involved those sorts of considerations, yes, sabbatical years etcetera.
“But at this moment of time I would say, we believe we know where we will be. We navigated a difficult weekend [in Japan]. I took a high level of flak out of that weekend. It was a challenge to navigate through it.
“But nevertheless, here we are with a great number of driver options, and we’ve two of the best drivers in the world in our cars.
“When we have to take a decision we’ll take it together, and at this moment our drivers are Fernando and Jenson Button.”