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Alonso: Now is not time to think about 2009.


While both Rubens Barrichello and Jenson Button talked openly about the possible threat they face from Honda's rumoured talks with double world champion Fernando Alonso, the Renault star refuses to even discuss his future plans.

The Alonso-Honda story has taken on greater significance in recent weeks, with Ross Brawn making no secret of his interest in the Spaniard, and now both the team's current drivers admitting that they believe that talks are taking place. Asked during Friday's press conference in Valencia, however, Alonso maintained the relative silence that he displayed while being connected to potential seats at Ferrari and Red Bull Racing.

"Nothing at all," the Spaniard replied when asked if he had anything to say on the speculation, "As I have said many times, I think, for next year, the time to think about it will be the end of the season, or in the last part of the championship.

"Now, I am not talking to anyone and it is not the time. I am fully concentrated on the championship and I think it would be a mistake to think about next year so early."

“I think the team is definitely talking to Fernando,” Barrichello told reporters ahead of this weekend's first Valencia-based European Grand Prix, before admitting that he wanted to remain on board for 2009.

“I have never been so enthusiastic about my whole situation with the team. I left Ferrari because I didn't have the freedom to do what I wanted to do. I have that at Honda, but I still have not had the car to perform and I am waiting for that chance. The conversations are there and I am talking to the team - I am talking to all the teams. I want to be racing.”

Renault boss Flavio Briatore acknowledged that his star driver would be a natural target for other outfits, particularly those that believed they could prize him away from a team struggling for results, but insisted that he would do all he could to keep Alonso - second fastest on the opening day in Valencia - on board for next season.

"What is more important is to give a winning car to Fernando, that is our mission for the future," he said, "This is what we try to do - like every team manager tries to do for their own driver."

As Formula One lines up for its second event in Spain this season, Briatore was quick to pay tribute to the contribution Alonso has made to racing in his homeland.

"I believe Fernando has taken Formula One to Spain principally, because we know how difficult it was to get television to televise the grand prix in Spain," he noted, "Spain started learning about Formula One with Fernando. Without Fernando, we would still have 350 spectators, as it was before. This is fact, without Fernando, there was no Formula One in Spain, that's for sure."


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27.11.2016 - Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
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27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16
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27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31 and his girlfriend Brittny Ward (USA)
27.11.2016 - Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31

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