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Alonso rules out sabbatical year

Fernando AlonsoFernando Alonso says there is no chance of him sitting out the 2008 season even if he parts company with McLaren.

Speculation has been rife that the world champion will seek to extricate himself from his McLaren contract at the end of the year. One possibility that had been mooted was for Alonso to take a sabbatical season in 2008 before returning with a different team in 2009.

But speaking to Spanish radio station Cadena Ser on Sunday night, Alonso said he was determined to race next year.

"No, that's not in my plans. I want to race, I'm 100 per cent sure," he said.

"However and wherever, but I enjoy racing and that's what I want."

The Spaniard believes it would be too costly to skip the first season of the traction control ban.

"Next year there will be an important change in the rules, removing all driving aids and it's a season you have to race," Alonso said. "It's important to adapt to the cars, which will basically be completely new."

Rumours that Alonso could join Ferrari next season were quashed by team boss Jean Todt at Fuji, and the world champion agreed that this was not an option.

"I have no news from them. They have contracts for next year with (Felipe) Massa and (Kimi) Raikkonen so it's not a possibility for me for next year," he said.

Alonso's McLaren teammate Lewis Hamilton admitted last weekend that he would be content to see the Spaniard leave the team.

"I don't know who else would slip in here, but I'd much rather it were Fernando in a Ferrari and me in a McLaren," Hamilton told the British newspapers.

But Alonso said he would have no problem working with Hamilton again next season.

"If we are not together next year and I have a competitive car, then fine, and if we have to stay together we'll have another beautiful fight," Alonso said.

The 2007 championship battle now appears to have turned in Hamilton's favour after the Briton's victory in Japan. Alonso fell 12 points behind in the standings having crashed out of the race.

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