Suggestions that Fernando Alonso is merely in a holding pattern with McLaren-Honda have been played down by the F1 team's chairman, Ron Dennis.

Even before the double world champion had been officially confirmed as a member of the McLaren line-up for 2015, the F1 rumour mill was claiming that he was already being targeted by Mercedes as a potential replacement for Lewis Hamilton in 2016. Hamilton insists that he is happy to remain with the team that took him to last year's world title, but team boss Toto Wolff has hinted that Alonso would be the most likely target as replacement should the pair split.

Dennis, however, has rubbished those claims, insisting that Alonso will be going nowhere before the end of his contract with McLaren, which - despite F1 contracts being known for their 'flexibility' - is scheduled to run for three years, tying him to Woking until at least the end 2017.

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"No McLaren driver has ever had performance clauses in his contract and that's the case with Fernando," Dennis told BBC Sport ahead of the start of pre-season testing, where the Spaniard will be given the first taste of McLaren's new Honda-powered MP4-30.

Alonso, now 33 and eight years removed from his second world title, managed to leave Ferrari two years ahead of his contract expiring, with the Scuderia plucking Sebastian Vettel from Red Bull as his replacement. Hamilton's current deal runs through to the end of 2015, and talks have yet to commence on a possible extension.