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McLaren & Mercedes deny Alonso deals

Fernando Alonso and Ferrari seemingly opted to tear up their contract for the 2015 and 2016 Formula One World Championships last week.

According to reports Ferrari moved quickly to sign up their replacement, with it expected to be announced that four-time Formula One World Champion Sebastian Vettel will be joining the team from Red Bull Racing.

Red Bull Racing themselves have announced that they will promote Russian Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat to the seat, to show their continued faith in their Red Bull driver development programme which has also seen Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo make the steps through to the top seat.

So that left question marks over just where Fernando Alonso will be next season.

McLaren and Fernando Alonso have been holding talks for some time. Many believe that McLaren could well be the team to beat next season if Honda's engine and power-train live up to full expectations.

The Japanese manufacturer has also been keen to put a marquee signing in the McLaren seat, with 2009 Formula One World Champion Jenson Button not quite fitting the long-term bill for McLaren Honda's new partnership.

It was thought that Alonso ticked all the boxes, but despite the movement in the driver market this weekend McLaren chairman Ron Dennis remained remarkably coy.

None of our drivers are signed for 2015, We want the most competitive drivers available and Ive talked to every driver at the top-end of the pitlane. he told Sky Sports.

Alonso himself appeared very non-committal also.

'I still have not decided completely. I have a plan in my head, I have had my mind set for the last two or three months, Alonso intriguingly said.

This led to speculation that Alonso was actually only interested in a short-term deal with McLaren for 2015 ahead of a move to Mercedes for 2016.

Nico Rosberg has a long-term contract at the Formula One World Championship leaders, however current drivers championship leader Lewis Hamilton's current deal expires at the end of 2015.

A few in the paddock have suggested that following this seasons championship battle Rosberg and Hamilton could not remain as team-mates for next season, with the option that Hamilton could leave the team early if he doesn't take his second F1 crown.

So could Alonso be holding out for a Mercedes seat either in 2015 or in 2016?

'No. Confirmed: we have Lewis and we have Nico.

'Why should we change anything?

For us its clear because we never even discussed with him [Alonso] because Lewis has a contract for next year and Nico has two more years.
Mercedes non-executive chairman Niki Lauda categorically told Sky.

With the door closed at Red Bull and Mercedes, the only option for 2015 appears to be McLaren. Or, like Alain Prost in 1992 he could take a sabbatical year ahead of signing a deal for the future.

But despite the apparent lack of options and his career in limbo, Alonso remains cool.

I have the privileged position because more or less I can choose wherever I want to go in the moment that I want to go.

I gain that respect in so many years, especially the last five at Ferrari, so being the decision maker probably some of the movements that we are seeing now is an implication of what I'm deciding. So let's wait a little bit and when I clear completely my last doubts, I will tell you where I go."
Alonso concluded.

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The Journalist

Writer: Red5 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday October 6 2014

Time: 1:00PM


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