EXPANDING BUSINESS: McLaren driver Fernando Alonso is launching a fashion brand called Kimoa according to Spanish media. Image: AFP / Jose Jordan
Madrid - The signs are growing by the day that Fernando Alonso intends to stay in Formula 1 beyond 2017.
Earlier, before the much faster regulations for this year made their debut, the Spaniard was leaving open the possibility he might retire at the end of the season.
Two-time F1 champion
But then in Australia two weeks ago, he dropped a strong hint that he wants to stay.
When asked about reported plans for an expansion of the calendar beyond 20 races, Alonso answered: "We all love racing so I think more racing will always be welcome. But in a couple of years' time."
Many took 35-year-old Alonso to mean that he is on the market for a new contract for 2018 and beyond.
And there are other signs that the former double world champion is staying put.
In Melbourne, Alonso was suddenly no longer wearing the sunglasses of his former sponsor Oakley. Instead, he wore glasses featuring 'Kimoa' branding.
Partnership with manager Luis Garcia Abad
Spanish publication Moda now reports that Kimoa is actually a fashion brand that is set to be launched by Alonso and his manager Luis Garcia Abad.
The report also says Alonso has secured the assistance of auditor KPMG, which is already an on-car McLaren-Honda sponsor.
Alonso's manager Garcia Abad, explaining Kimoa said: "The first step will be totally online, so the platform will have a global focus.
"In 2018 maybe we will consider getting into the physical side."
In Australia, Alonso also made his debut as the only Adidas-sponsored F1 driver, wearing three-stripe branded gloves and boots.