MARCH 7, 2016
Alonso still not ruling out Mercedes move
Fernando Alonso is still refusing to rule out a future move to Mercedes.
Although fully committed to the remaining two seasons of his McLaren-Honda contract, the Spaniard began his 2016 campaign by revealing he almost switched from Ferrari to Mercedes last year in a swap deal involving Lewis Hamilton.
"You always want to be where the best car is, and that's Mercedes," he has now told Spanish radio Onda Cero.
"I am now where I try to be happy. And yes, I'm happy," Alonso insisted.
His comments about being 'happy' at McLaren are almost certainly in reference to his previous situation at Ferrari.
"(Luca di) Montezemolo told me that drivers like Prost, Lauda and Senna all asked him if they could go to Ferrari. He did not understand that I asked to leave."
The start of the new McLaren-Honda project last year, however, was nothing short of utterly disastrous, but Alonso says his car is definitely better for 2016.
"What we are behind is between 30 and 80 horse power," Alonso said. "There is no 100 or 200hp deficit to Mercedes.
"The engine last year had serious structural flaws," he revealed. "This year our Achilles heel will again be the power as I do not think we can recover all of the lost ground.
"But this season will be different and we started well, not to get victories but it will be very different from last year.
"I am very motivated and willing to do the best season of my life. The car was born well with some limitations, but I am told there will be major improvements," he added.
Where he also wants major improvements is in the regulations, as he warns that he may have exhausted his desire to drive the current generation of cars by the end of his McLaren tenure.
"I still have several years at the highest level - two at least - and then we will see," he told the Spanish broadcaster TVE.
"The F1 cars now are too slow," Alonso said plainly. "It has taken the pleasure of driving.
"They are extremely slow cars, with hard and difficult to understand tyres with extremely high pressures to further reduce grip.
"Driving is now different and more boring, with audiences continuing to go down as you cannot cheat them. So I hope we can find the right direction for the sport," he added.