Fernando Alonso dismisses rumours he could leave McLaren early

Fernando Alonso has dismissed speculation from ex-Formula 1 team boss Flavio Briatore he could leave McLaren before his contract is up if he "cannot get a winning car"

Fernando Alonso dismisses rumours he could leave McLaren early

Briatore and Alonso's friendship goes back many years, including their time at Renault that culminated in Alonso winning his two F1 world titles in 2005 and '06.

In an interview in Spain's El Mundo newspaper, Briatore said he suggested to Alonso he should leave Ferrari after five years and join the new McLaren-Honda partnership.

However, he also said of Alonso: "If he cannot get a winning car in Formula 1, he will find it somewhere else."

When Alonso was asked about his commitment to McLaren in the wake of Briatore's comments, he said: "Definitely. I can tell you I will not go anywhere else.

"I trust this project. McLaren, Honda, with the potential both companies have, it's just a matter of time [before] they will win again.

"Unfortunately we are in a difficult time and the starting point was quite low, but we are making progress as fast as we can, and hopefully we can make this tough time as short as possible."

Alonso confirmed to still being in regular contact with Briatore, and despite the veteran Italian's comments, concedes to being "happy", but only to a point.

"I am happy here, happy with the progress we are making, with the challenge we have in front of us, with the philosophy and the discipline I have found this year working with one of the greatest teams and greatest engine manufacturer that I have worked with," he said.

"So I am enjoying this process in terms of how we are improving things and making progress, but at the same time it's no secret we are here to win and we are here to fight for championships.

"Especially after the last few years with seconds and thirds. I was not totally happy with my five years at Ferrari.

"If we are not winning I can enjoy the process and enjoy working with the guys.

"But definitely you are not so happy when you start 14th after doing one of the best laps I have done here in Suzuka."

McLaren racing director Eric Boullier, forced to fend off questions over Jenson Button's future of late, was then quizzed on the speculation surrounding Alonso.

"The team position is quite clear - we are happy with both drivers," confirmed Boullier.

"We always say we intend to keep Jenson when we are asked, and Fernando has been clear - he will be with us next year."

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