Fernando Alonso tells McLaren staff he's staying in 2017

Fernando Alonso has told McLaren staff at the team's factory that he is committed to its Formula 1 project, despite a seat becoming available at Mercedes after Nico Rosberg's departure

Fernando Alonso tells McLaren staff he's staying in 2017

Mercedes has had significant interest in the seat, but boss Toto Wolff said he would be reluctant to "interfere" with contracted drivers such as Alonso and Sebastian Vettel at Ferrari.

Alonso, who raced for McLaren in 2007 before rejoining the team in 2015, still has one year left on his contract.

Last week, Alonso's confidant Flavio Briatore ruled out the Spaniard leaving McLaren, insisting he had a contract and would respect it.

Addressing staff at the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking on Tuesday morning, Alonso moved to reassure his colleagues.

"I believe in this project," he said. "I'm committed and I want to be world champion with McLaren-Honda. That's my only goal."

Alonso is set to contest his 16th season in F1 next term, alongside Stoffel Vandoorne, who was promoted to the role to replace Jenson Button.

Valtteri Bottas is top of Mercedes' list to replace Rosberg, however Williams rejected its initial approach.

Mercedes reserve driver Pascal Wehrlein is also under consideration, although the team has reservations about his relative lack of experience.

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