Alonso pledges F1 future to Ferrari
5 September 2013 – Fernando Alonso has pledged his Formula 1 future to Ferrari amid recent rumours that the two-time World Champion was considering a move away from the outfit.
Sparked after a meeting between his manager and Red Bull team boss Christian Horner at the Hungaroring and heightened in the wake of controversial comments about Ferrari's performance, speculation had linked Alonso to a shock switch.
But the Spaniard has now brushed aside the reports, which included the suggestion of a gap year, insisting that he intends to honour the remainder of his Ferrari contract.
"It was only rumours, a lot of rumours," Alonso stated during Thursday afternoon's press conference at Monza. "There were rumours about Red Bull, there were rumours in Italy about a sabbatical year. There were so many rumours. But I still have three-and-a-half more years with Ferrari which I intend to respect and hopefully increase a little bit. [I will] try to finish my career in the best team in the world – which is Ferrari."
On the subject of a sabbatical, Alonso added: "Never an option. I'm in the best moment of my career with the best experience and performing at the best time. I will not miss any opportunity. I know that I'm still in very good shape for maybe four, five more years. I will give this 100 percent of my passion, that is motorsport and my career."
Alonso went on to discuss the championship situation ahead of this weekend's Italian Grand Prix, admitting that if he cannot cut the 46-point gap to Sebastian Vettel over the next two races, Ferrari should look at focusing its entire efforts on the 2014 season.
"We only closed the gap in Silverstone when he [Vettel] retired," Alonso commented. "We need to change this situation; we will be happy finishing in front of him here in Monza and in Singapore. And finishing in front of him means being on the podium at the minimum. We know how strong he is and how competitive Red Bull will be.
"If we cannot finish in front of him and keep losing points then we need to start thinking of the 2014 project because there will only be six or seven races remaining with a massive points gap. These [Italy and Singapore] are two important races."