Fernando Alonso has talked down speculation of a switch to the World Endurance Championship and has pledged his commitment to McLaren in F1 for the foreseeable future, after his comments on Mark Webber's retirement from racing sparked fresh rumours.
In Abu Dhabi Alonso has clarified his comments on wishing Webber a happy retirement after the former F1 driver hung up his helmet at the WEC finale in Bahrain last week.
Alonso, who has one year remaining on his current McLaren contract, said to Webber, “I will ask you many things when I join your adventure,” hinting at a highly-speculated move to WEC which the Spaniard has always been open to after he leaves F1.
Despite confirming his desire to switch to WEC with a particular focus on Le Mans 24 Hours, Alonso says he is fully committed to F1 and wants to seal a third world title before moving championships.
“I'm committed to F1 100% next year here with the team,” Alonso said. “In the future it's no doubt that it's a very attractive challenge and a very attractive thing to do the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
"I like the category, I like the cars, and as I said, it's a good challenge. But that future, I don't know if it means in two years' time, in five years' time, or in 11 years' time. I don't know yet. It's nothing new.
“The first thing that I want to do, and I will do, is to win a third world championship in F1 and then I will see.”
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The 2005 and 2006 F1 world champion has reflected on his personal performances this season as his third best campaign in the sport, outflanking both world title campaigns, as he has taken the underperforming McLaren-Honda into the top ten in the drivers' championship.
Alonso, who has out-qualified team-mate Jenson Button at over 80% of races were fair comparisons can be made, has notched up eight points finishes in 2016 and over double the number of points as his British team-mate.
“2012 is probably my best season in F1,” he said. “Then it could be 2014 my second best. Then probably this one will be on the final step of the podium so far. I felt very confident in the car in every condition.
“That confidence in the car gave me the opportunity to drive at the limit on many occasions. Jenson is an incredible driver. Last year I experienced that and saw that and this year I was able to be in front of him many, many times.
“I consider this year on a very high standard from my driving part of view. So happy with the things that we've done, happy with the progress of the team as well, so a completely different taste this final race in Abu Dhabi. 12 months ago we were disappointed, but sad, many things were going on in our heads last year.
“Instead this year everything is optimistic and everything is joy. We know there is still a long way to go to become champions, but the feeling is a lot happier than last year.”
POINTS: The F1 Drivers' & Constructors' standings ahead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix F1 finale
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