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Mid-season retirement rumours not true- Alonso

McLaren Honda’s Spanish driver Fernando Alonso attends a press conference at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit on August 25, 2016

SHANGHAI, China, Apr 7 – Fernando Alonso is adamant he will not be quitting McLaren mid-season, saying reports that he is even considering it are “definitely not true.”

Facing another wretched season with McLaren-Honda there has been some suggestion that Alonso could quit the team mid-season.

Former F1 racer Mark Webber was one such person making those claims.

“Alonso may not stay with the team,” Webber told Belgian news agency Sporza. “Maybe Stoffel will have a new team-mate soon.

“I can see it happening, that Alonso won’t complete the season. He is very frustrated.”

Alonso, though, is adamant that he is not walking away.

“No, definitely not true,” the Spaniard said ahead of the Chinese GP weekend.

“It’s normal from the outside that drivers speak and I have read comments from many people, and in Spain also if one ex-driver or motorbike rider they have one question, that is also about Alonso. How do they see the situation? And everyone seems to be quite close to me and I have a depression!

“But it’s not like that.

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“In Formula 1 I am delivering at my best, I’m more prepared than ever and I perform at my best. The team is not very competitive now, okay that’s true and there is not much we can do from one day to another, it’s hard work.

“At the same time, I think that the team is expecting an extra job from me now, an extra result, as we did in Australia where the predictions and simulations said we were last and we were 10th. In China, if the prediction says we are last, hopefully Alonso is in the points.”

As for rumours that he could be vying for a 2018 race-seat with reigning World Champions Mercedes where he would partner former team-mate Lewis Hamilton, Alonso says he’s not ruling it out but that it is a conversation for the future.

“I have nothing to say right now. It is a question for the future. Nothing is ruled out.

“I respect [Hamilton] a lot. We like to compete and beat the best. Same with Michael [Schumacher]. It was fantastic to win titles when Michael was on the track as well, because if not they do not have the same value.”

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