Alonso seeks new motivation at McLaren
|By Alan Baldwin||Monday, October 23rd 2006, 13:17 GMT|
Fernando Alonso believes his move to McLaren next year could be just what he needs after becoming Formula One's youngest double world champion with Renault.
"I feel that for the next three years at McLaren I will have the opportunity to have a good car," the 25-year-old Spaniard said.
"Renault, for sure, will have a good car but hopefully I will find new motivation with McLaren, a new challenge, new people, a new way to work and this is really very important for me and I'm looking forward to this new thing."
Alonso needed only a point from Sunday's season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix but he finished second for his 14th podium in 18 races.
He won seven times in all and helped Renault do the 'double double' - winning both drivers' and constructors' titles for two years in a row.
The Spaniard signed a three-year deal with McLaren last December, less than three months after his first championship success, at a time when Renault's future in Formula One was uncertain.
McLaren, like Ferrari this year, ended the 2005 season with more wins than Renault but have failed to repeat that form.
Sunday's race, won by Ferrari's Felipe Massa, left McLaren a distant third in the championship and condemned them to their first season without a victory since 1996.
Alonso hoped the Mercedes-powered team would bounce back next year just as Ferrari have after their dismal 2005 showing.
"I think both Ferrari drivers are always in the position to win races and championships and so I think Felipe, Kimi (Raikkonen), the Renault drivers and hopefully the McLaren drivers will be," he said.
"But until the fourth or fifth race you will not see a clear picture."
Honda will also pose a strong challenge, with Briton Jenson Button third in Brazil after starting 14th, while Raikkonen moves from McLaren to Ferrari and compatriot Heikki Kovalainen makes his debut at Renault.
"Formula One changes a lot every year," said Alonso. "The rules, the cars and sometimes you are not able to win and sometimes it's impossible.
"From now on, nobody knows what is going to happen and hopefully I can fight for the championship, I can hopefully be in the top three, the top four with all the championships I do from now on.
"But it's difficult to repeat what Michael did, the dominant position for so many years."
Only two drivers have ever won three championships in a row - Ferrari's now retired Michael Schumacher and the late Argentine Juan Manuel Fangio.
Ayrton Senna, Mika Hakkinen and Alain Prost all won two successive titles with McLaren but a third in a row proved impossible.
"We will work hard to give him the same opportunity next year," said McLaren boss Ron Dennis. "I would like to wish Kimi all the best for next year, but you would expect we will be doing our very best to ensure that we beat him."