Fernando Alonso has dismissed rumours surrounding his future at Ferrari, saying that he intends to complete the remaining three and a half years on his current contract and potentially extend it to beyond 2016.
The Spaniard had been linked to the seat at Red Bull Racing after his manager met with Christian Horner over the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend. Ricciardo has since been confirmed as a Red Bull driver for 2014, with Alonso keen to remain at his current team.
Speaking in the FIA driver press conference Alonso said: “It was only rumours, a lot of rumours. There were rumours about Red Bull, there were rumours in Italy about a sabbatical year. There were so many rumours.”
However, he aims to remain at the team for quite some time and potentially extend his current contract: “But I still have three-and-a-half more years [on my contract] with Ferrari which I intend to respect and hopefully increase a little bit. I will try to finish my career in the best team in the world – which is Ferrari.”
Recent reports in Italy suggested that the 32-year-old could take a sabbatical in 2014, should he not win the title this season. However, Alonso expects to remain in the sport for “four to five” more years.
When asked if he could take a sabbatical he said: “Never an option. I’m in the best moment of my career with the best experience and performing at the best time. I will not miss any opportunity now. I know that I’m still in very good shape for maybe four, five more years. So this for sure I will give 100% of my passion, that is motorsport and my career.”
“After these four or five years, I will see what condition I am [in] and if I’m performing well. If I’m not feeling good anymore maybe I think [about what I do next], but as I said, the next four or five years I will be 100% committed.”
Alonso’s first world title for Ferrari has so far eluded him. He has failed to win a title since 2006 when he was racing for Renault. However he feels that the dramatic rule changes for 2014 could present Ferrari with a chance to shift the balance of power away from Red Bull Racing: “We are not achieving at the moment the results that we want but we are working very hard.
“Next year will be completely new rules which obviously open the door for many teams to stop the domination that Red Bull seems to have in the last couple of years. So we have high hopes for next year’s challenge.”
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic