Bad 2017 Formula 1 season won't drive McLaren's Alonso out

Fernando Alonso insists that a poor season with McLaren-Honda in 2017 will not make him turn his back on Formula 1

Bad 2017 Formula 1 season won't drive McLaren's Alonso out

The Spaniard is bracing himself for a tough start to the campaign, with Honda's revised F1 power unit having struggled in both the reliability and power stakes so far in testing.

Alonso: New Honda F1 engine has no power, no reliability

After a winter spent training harder than ever in the belief that McLaren could finally be ready to challenge near the front, the situation has left Alonso in a disappointed state and already prompted talk that he could call time on F1.

The 35-year-old is in the final season of his McLaren contract, having joined the team from Ferrari in 2015.

However, speaking during this week's Barcelona F1 test, Alonso said that a below-par campaign would actually serve to inspire him to stay on, as the two-time world champion does not want to end his grand prix career on a low.

"I'm going always anti-clockwise [against what people think]," he said, when asked by Autosport about how much the current situation hurts.

"When people go pessimistic, I go optimistic. When people are overexcited, I get worried.

"I feel confident that this year we will be competitive - I don't know at which point in the year, but we will be competitive and I want to win races, I want to be on the podium.

"And if everything goes in the wrong direction, I will... I will attack next year, you know.

"It brings me more motivation to continue and to win.

"I will not stop racing without a good feeling and a good result that I think I deserve."

Alonso said he was convinced he was still delivering at his absolute best, and had seen nothing during recent testing to suggest other drivers were now better than him.

"If one day I feel in the car, people I see on the corners that they do fantastic lines, they brake later than me, they accelerate earlier than me, they do better starts than me, you know, that day I will stop and I will say it's time," he said.

"What I'm seeing now is completely the opposite - more than ever, this year, this winter.

"What I see on the track, what I see myself is at the best level. So now it is time to attack."

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