TAKING A BREAK? Rumour has it that McLaren-Honda driver Fernando Alonso might take a sabbatical from the team in 2016. Image: AFP / Miguel Schincariol
Former world champion Fernando Alonso could take a sabbatical from Formula 1 in 2016, his McLaren team chief Ron Dennis said Saturday.
"He will definitely finish his career in McLaren," the BBC quoted Dennis as saying. "(But) I have an open mind to anything. Some of the ideas have involved those sorts of considerations - sabbatical years."
'Difficult for the team'
The 34-year-old Alonso, world champion 2005 and 2006, said in September he was unsure if he would drive for McLaren in 2016. This year has been difficult for the team as they struggled to adjust to a power unit from new suppliers Honda.
McLaren is second bottom of the constructors' championship, ahead of only the pointless Manor. Both Alonso and team mate Jenson Button have voiced their frustration at the lack of competitiveness this term.
But Dennis is confident that McLaren will have a better 2016 regardless of who eventually takes the driving roles.
Dennis said: "When we have to take the decision, we will take it together and at this moment in time our drivers for 2016 are Fernando and Jenson Button. We have quite a lot of confidence in where we will be at the beginning of next season. It is most definitely going in the right direction.
"We are going up a painful curve, but up it we will go and we will get there."