McLaren Honda’s Fernando Alonso who will start Sunday’s Formula One season finale Abu Dhabi Grand Prix from 17th place on the grid have confirmed that he will race in 2016 despite suggestions from McLaren Chairman Ron Dennis that the double world champion was open to the idea of taking a sabbatical from Formula One next season.
McLaren and Honda’s new partnership has endured an extremely tough opening year in 2015 with the Woking based outfit having scored just 27 points.
Speaking in Abu Dhabi ahead of Sunday’s race when reports emerged that he may take a sabbatical Alonso commented by saying:
That’s not the plan. The plan is to work very hard. My intention and my aim is to race next year and to win next year, or at least be competitive. As I said in the TV pen this afternoon, I was the first to be surprised about Ron’s comments. I know that it’s up to me now to answer and interpret what he meant with those comments, but I think it’s much better to ask him, because I was the first to be surprised.
Alonso’s close friend, World Endurance Car Champion and former F1 driver Mark Webber reportedly claimed that the Spaniard would wait until after the first winter test of 2016 to decide his future plans. Alonso reacted to this by saying:
At the first test, if we are second or ninth, it will not change my approach or my intention to keep winning that season, it’s only one test.