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2016 F1

Alonso not ruling out 2016 F1 sabbatical

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McLaren-Honda driver Fernando Alonso not ruling out taking a sabbatical in 2016 Formula 1

McLaren-Honda driver Fernando Alonso not ruling out taking a sabbatical in 2016 Formula 1

Fernando Alonso is not ruling out taking a sabbatical in 2016, if McLaren-Honda cannot become much more competitive over the winter.

Saturday’s news about the possibility of a sabbatical broke spectacularly in Abu Dhabi, following comments by McLaren supremo Ron Dennis.

Indeed, a sabbatical may be an ideal solution for the struggling Woking team, relieving the pressure of having the mercurial Spaniard on board during its competitive low, and saving the team millions.

Alonso could then return in 2017 and 2018 with a more competitive car.

Mark Webber, known for being close to Alonso, is in Abu Dhabi this weekend and he said the 34-year-old may also not be opposed to the idea.

“He is a time bomb,” the Australian told BBC television. “If things are not going his way he will create pressure on all parts of the team. He hates losing.

“Give him two or three days in testing and if the car is uncompetitive I think he’ll have a year off,” Webber said.

When asked about Dennis’ comments after qualifying, Alonso was initially reluctant, insisting he has not spoken to Ron about the issue for months.

But when asked to rule out a sabbatical categorically, he said: “I can never say anything 100 per cent. I cannot say that tomorrow I will not have dinner as I don’t know if I will be hungry!

“We will see how it goes next year but it’s not in my plans not to race.

“Definitely it is my intention and my aim to race next year and to win or at least to be competitive,” Alonso added.

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