Fernando Alonso committed to racing for McLaren in F1 in 2016

Fernando Alonso says he will race for McLaren in the 2016 Formula 1 season and he has clarified the situation with Ron Dennis following suggestions he could take a sabbatical

Fernando Alonso committed to racing for McLaren in F1 in 2016

McLaren CEO Dennis said Alonso taking a year out next season was "a consideration" he had "an open mind" towards leading to Alonso's future becoming the topic of considerable debate over the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend.

Those comments came as a surprise to Alonso but the Spaniard confused the situation further when he initially gave an interview saying he would not sit on the sidelines but then said in another session "you can never say 100 per cent to anything".

But when asked on Friday if he would definitely be on the grid with McLaren at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix next March, Alonso said: "Yes.

"The talk was on Friday by Ron. On Saturday he said the opposite thing but no-one listened anymore.

"I said the opposite on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and I'm sure in January and February about my future I will keep answering the same questions."

When asked by Autosport if he had spoken to Dennis about the comments, Alonso, speaking at Johnnie Walker's #jointhepact event in London, said: "I talked to Ron on Friday, I told him what had been published.

"He said 'I didn't mean that and tomorrow I will clarify it'.

"On Saturday he clarified but no one copied that."

Alonso, who has previously said he will end his career at McLaren, has two years to run on his contract.

When asked if he would call time on his F1 career at that point, especially given McLaren's recent struggles, Alonso said: "We have to be open to any possibility.

"Right now, it is too long ahead to think.

"Let's see what happens in one and a half years and what the situation is, what are the targets we have met and we hadn't met and what the motivations are to keep going on in Formula 1."

Alonso's team-mate Jenson Button said the Spaniard's experience will be important in helping McLaren move forward next year.

"He is under contract," said Button. "He is a good team-mate to have, he is experienced like me.

"The feedback is good, the team really listen to us.

"If we are two young drivers the team would be developing the car in a certain direction but because of our experience they listen to us and we help develop the car which is really good to see.

"It is the perfect situation for the team having us two in the team and that is what we enjoy being part of the development progress."

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