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."
Arsenal vs Aston Villa preview: I need to prove myself again at Villa, says Scott Sinclair
Transfer news and rumours LIVE: Juan Cuadrado to Chelsea, Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester City, United want Gareth Bale
Chelsea vs Manchester City player ratings: David Silva saves the day but which City star stole the show at Stamford Bridge?
Arsene Wenger photobombs Arsenal photo shoot - manages to look like famous 'Bigfoot' picture
Serena Williams wins Australia Open 2015: American beats Maria Sharapova in straight sets to claim a sixth title in Melbourne
- 1 Stephen Fry explains what he would say if he was 'confronted by God'
- 2 Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
- 4 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 5 Canadian woman suing police who locked her in van with sex offender who then raped her
Stephen Fry explains what he would say if he was 'confronted by God'
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
Hard line on immigration could cost Tories the election