McLaren will deliver, says Alonso
|Thursday, October 26th 2006, 16:39 GMT|
Formula One double world champion Fernando Alonso is confident his new team McLaren can produce a competitive car despite a disappointing campaign this year.
"I'm really looking forward to starting work with the new car and the new team," the 25-year-old Spaniard said in an interview with El Pais on Thursday.
"There is a lot of work to do at McLaren but that is the same with every team. They all have to work hard for next season.
"Mercedes is a great manufacturer and I have no doubt that we will have a competitive McLaren for the next few years. I also believe that they are the team that work best on car development during the season."
Alonso became Formula One's youngest double world champion when he wrapped up the title for Renault with a second place finish in the season-ending Brazil Grand Prix last Sunday.
McLaren were a distant third behind Renault and Ferrari in the constructors' championship, finishing their first season without a victory since 1996.
Alonso signed a three-year deal with the Mercedes-powered team last December when Renault's Formula One future was uncertain.
The Spaniard does not see himself under any obligation to take over the mantle of the key figure in the sport after the retirement of seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher.
"There are lots of young drivers who will be trying to fill the gap but in time we will see that Formula One will carry on as it always has done," he said.
"One thing is clear, though, and that is that I will be the only world champion on the grid in Australia," added Alonso, referring to the season-opening Grand Prix.
Only two drivers have won three championships in a row - Schumacher and the late Argentine Juan Manuel Fangio.