Alonso says motivation is key to contract extension

Mon Sep 19, 2016 7:49am EDT
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MADRID (Reuters) - Fernando Alonso says he is only thinking as far ahead as next season and any extension of his McLaren Formula One contract beyond 2017 will depend on how he feels about the sport.

"I'm 34 and I could go on for more years but it's all about motivation and willingness," the Spaniard told Cadena Ser radio. "I'm just thinking about next year.

"We will see how I feel when the time comes, if I sign a contract extension."

The double world champion, seventh in Sunday's Singapore Grand Prix, said the aim was to fight for the championship next season, when the sport undergoes a major rules revamp.

Former world champions McLaren have not won a race since 2012 and endured a nightmare last season at the start of a new engine partnership with Honda after years with now-dominant Mercedes.

"The hunger is always there. After one year and a half without being close to the podium, I have more motivation. I come out as a lion in every race," said Alonso, who joined from Ferrari at the end of 2014.

Whether he stays or goes could determine the fate of British team mate Jenson Button, who is making way for Belgian Stoffel Vandorne next year but has an option for 2018.

The sport will have wider tires, new aerodynamics and faster cars in 2017.

"Today's cars are less attractive, more boring than with respect to a few years back," said Alonso. "It's not the Formula One that we knew.   Continued...

Britain Formula One - F1 - British Grand Prix 2016 - Silverstone, England - 9/7/16
McLaren's Fernando Alonso after qualifying
Reuters / Andrew Boyers