Fernando Alonso wants to end McLaren talk by signing contract extension with Ferrari
The Spaniard had been linked with a return to his former team but he insists he wants to stay with the Italian manufacturer
Saturday 21 September 2013
Fernando Alonso is ready to sign a further contract extension with Ferrari that could see him bring the curtain down on his Formula One career with the Maranello marque.
For the past few weeks, and notably over the course of this weekend in the build-up to the Singapore Grand Prix, Alonso's future has been the subject of feverish speculation.
Alonso was initially linked with the vacancy at Red Bull in light of Mark Webber's decision to quit F1 at the end of the season, only for those rumours to be denied.
On Friday, McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh then made it clear he would gladly welcome back Alonso if he were available, despite his acrimonious departure in 2007 in the wake of the 'spygate' scandal.
Alonso quickly rejected those overtures, instead declaring his love for Ferrari and his desire to see out a contract that expires at the end of 2016 when he will be 35.
Now Alonso is eager to start talks with the team with regard to putting pen to paper on another lucrative deal.
"I've spent the last four races saying I want to stay at Ferrari and maybe extend the contract when they would like," said Alonso.
"We are working very closely on arriving at that situation because I hope to end my career in Formula One with Ferrari.
"To sit together and to try to do it, that's my desire, and the team has expressed to me more or less the same desire when we talk about this. That will be a good thing to achieve.
"There have been people racing until 38, 39, with no problems. Mark (Webber) is one of the examples, he has been very competitive, and Michael (Schumacher) also came back at a good age.
"So 35 is still a good age, so if I keep the motivation and enjoying the sport, like I'm doing now, when the time arrives we will see."
Grand prix Saturdays, however, are proving far from enjoyable for the 32-year-old as Alonso will start seventh for Sunday's race at the Marina Bay Street Circuit.
The Spaniard finished a second behind world title rival Sebastian Vettel as the three-times world champion again dominated qualifying, claiming the 41st pole of his career.
Even with new parts on his car, Alonso said: "They gave us the time gains we expected, but our opponents are not watching tv during grands prix. They are also improving.
"It's sad news for us, obviously, but there is nothing we can do now apart from prepare for a perfect race.
"Everything has not been going in the right direction for us, but I have 189 points and I'm second in the world championship, so that's our strong point."
Tour de France 2015: Five riders abandon race after enormous crash on Stage 3
Football kits 2015/16: The good, the bad and the downright worst new shirts from around the world for next season
World's highest paid athletes: Floyd Mayweather way ahead as three Brits make top 20
Cristiano Ronaldo storms out of interview after being asked about possible sale of Manchester United target Sergio Ramos
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Kyrgios set for heavy fine for giving up game during loss to Richard Gasquet
- 1 Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
- 2 Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
- 3 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 4 Chris Moyles reportedly set to make radio comeback with new breakfast show on XFM
- 5 The Greece debt crisis explained in less than 100 words
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
Sickness and disability benefits could be reduced by £30 a week as part of £12bn welfare cuts