I love Ferrari and I want to stay with the team: Alonso

I love Ferrari and I want to stay with the team: Alonso
Fernando Alonso arrives at the Paddock. Practice session 3 and qualifiying day of the Singapore GP 2013 on September 21, 2013

Speculation on Fernando Alonso's future dominated conversations in the Formula One paddock for most of Friday.

But by the time the Spaniard left the Marina Bay Street Circuit after his practice sessions, he made one thing clear - he has no desire to leave Ferrari.

"I keep repeating every weekend - and I don't know why I have to - I love Ferrari and I want to stay with them until the end," he said.

The 32-year-old was responding to questions which stemmed from McLaren chief Martin Whitmarsh saying on Wednesday that he would sign Alonso "if he could".

"It's nice to hear comments from all the team principals every year saying they respect my job," the two-time F1 champion remarked.

Still, it must be doubly special when such remarks came from a McLaren team with whom he shared an acrimonious relationship during a one-year stint in 2007.

At the time, things soured to the point that he was not speaking with team-mate Lewis Hamilton and Whitmarsh's predecessor, Ron Dennis.

Alonso, however, insisted that he bears no grudges against the British- based outfit.

"There were so many rumours that we had a lot of problems that year, but I always said that there were no problems with anyone," he said.

"It was just the philosophy of the team, especially one man (Dennis) who is not there any more."

That, according to Jenson Button, should bring an end to the speculation. "It's from the horse's mouth," the McLaren driver pointed out.

The 33-year-old had earlier been quoted as saying that driving alongside Alonso would be quite exciting, but dismissed the speculation as "utter rubbish" on Friday.

"I think it's people trying to make up stories that don't exist because we've run out of stories," he said.

"I don't know why he would leave a team that is his family."

Indeed, Alonso made no secret of his desire to stay on at Ferrari beyond the end of his contract - which ends in 2016.

"I have no intention of leaving," he stressed. "I have three years with Ferrari and, I hope, many more to come. And if we can extend the contract then, that would be my hope."

fabiusc@sph.com.sg

 


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