Fernando Alonso says he will definitely drive for McLaren-Honda in 2016 and 2017.
There has been a lot of speculation about whether or not the Spaniard will see out his three-year contract, fuelled by his comments over the team radio during the Japanese Grand Prix last time out. Alonso was heard saying he was 'embarrassed' to be overtaken so easily on the straights by rivals during the Suzuka race, adding that the Honda engine was more akin to a 'GP2 engine'.
Pressed on if he will definitely be with the Woking team next year, Alonso confirmed he will be staying.
“Yes of course,” he noted ahead of this weekend's Russian Grand Prix.
“And [in] 2017, yes.”
Alonso also insisted that he didn't expect his radio messages to be broadcast, even though selected clips are always used during a grand prix.
“Yeah, of course,” he continued, when pressed on if he thought they would remain private. “Obviously we have all season been very positive about the team and about the car. We face some difficult times, some tough times – all of the team.
“You know what you talk in the radio it should remain private because you are talking with your team, not in public. In public, as I said, we have been very, very positive all the time. Sometimes it is normal and understandable talking to the team [to be like this]. The level of frustration and the level of commitment that I have racing – and Jenson has racing as well - when you are battling and you cannot hold anyone behind and you are losing positions it is normal [to be frustrated].
“But as I said this is a very unique sport. We have a microphone in our helmet and it goes live on television. Imagine in NBA or in football or something like that, what we would find [if the situation was similar].
“It is normal and as I said, it is just talking to the team and [about them] understanding the frustration when driving the car,” he concluded.