TWO-TIMES F1 CHAMP: McLaren driver Fernando Alonso is looking to put his dire 2015 campaign behind him and focus on next year's championship. Image: AFP / Andrej Isakovic
LONDON, England - McLaren driver Fernando Alonso will be a title contender in 2016.
That is the confident prediction of the Spaniard's manager Luis Garcia Abad, even though one notable figure does not expect Alonso to ever add a third F1 title to his tally.
PART OF ECCLESTONE'S DREAM TEAM
In a recent interview, F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone answered "no" when asked if 34-year-old Alonso can bounce back from McLaren-Honda's dire 2015 campaign to fight for another championship.
Alonso, however, remains highly rated, with Ecclestone even choosing him as one of his drivers in a 'dream team' feature running on F1's official website.
And according to Abad, his client is still in the running to return to the sport's top step for real. Abad told Spanish radio station Cadena Ser: "Fernando will be a candidate for the title in 2016, without a doubt.
"McLaren-Honda is a winning combination, the car is radical and they are taking the time to make everything work effectively together."
ALONSO STAYING PUT FOR 2016
Abad insisted: "The weaknesses of today will be the strengths of tomorrow, there are obvious positive signs that indicate that in the future it will be really strong."
While Alonso is definitely staying at McLaren in 2016, the future of his current team mate Jenson Button is less clear.
But the 35-year-old Briton insists he is still motivated enough to stay put for another year.
Button told F1 Racing magazine: "I have a team mate alongside me who's regarded as one of the best in F1 history. With a team mate like that, it's not just about trying to do the best job you can in your car against the rest of the field. You have your teammate to judge yourself against.
He added: "It's a great position be in and it's exactly what I want at this stage. It keeps me massively motivated."Stay with Wheels24 for the 2015 Belgian GP this weekend.