McLaren CEO Ron Dennis hopes world champion Fernando Alonso will complete his multi-year contract with McLaren, amid growing speculations that the Spaniard is looking to leave the team at the end of this season.
Alonso is signed with McLaren until the end of 2009, but his relationship with the team has been visibly strained in recent weeks, the Spaniard hesitating when asked at Hungary yesterday if he would see out his contract with the Woking-based outfit.
Recent rumours suggest Renault want Alonso back, while other teams are likely to be interested in signing the Spaniard should he be freed by McLaren.
Renault have yet to confirm their 2008 line-up and team boss Flavio Briatore made clear at the weekend that he was in no hurry to do so.
"I know nothing about that. We have never had any discussions about that," Briatore said on Sunday when asked about the rumours.
"This is a McLaren problem, not mine."
But Dennis dismissed these rumours as inevitable, and said his team intend to respect the contracts they have with both Alonso and Lewis Hamilton.
"There is an inevitability that these things are rumoured and discussed in other teams," Dennis said on Sunday in Budapest.
"We have two drivers who are contracted for several years into the future. We will respect our part of that bargain and that part of the situation - we hope that the drivers respect theirs, because that's what a contract is about."
According to sources, Alonso appears disillusioned by McLaren's treatment of both drivers, believing he should have had more support from the team due to his status as a double world champion.
A Spanish flag in the crowd on Sunday summed up the feelings of many Spanish fans about their hero's position - "McLaren=Traidor (Traitor)".
But Dennis was adamant that his team would not change their long-held belief of treating both drivers equally.
"That is our position," Dennis stated. "It is a challenging situation to manage, and I fully recognise that. But that goes with my job.
"I have to take any decisions that are in the interests of the team. But at the moment, we are most definitely going to maintain a very firm commitment to our principle of equality.
"We appreciate the pressure and the difficulties and the level of competitiveness that the drivers have to each other. We understand that there are always moments of indecision and a feeling of trust being stretched to the limit.
"But our team principles were not compromised; we make every effort as a team to generate equality.
"We will continue to function as a Grand Prix team with specific values, and if anybody does not want to be part of those values - irrespective of where they sit in the organisation - ultimately they all have a choice. But we will not deviate away from our values."
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