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2017 F1

Alonso: F1 is still my priority, it’s my life, hoping to win world title

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Nico Rosberg says he is surprised Fernando Alonso is keeping up his “motivation” amid the McLaren-Honda crisis.

On Wednesday, the British team announced that Alonso’s 2017 teammate, Belgian rookie Stoffel Vandoorne, is staying next year.

But two-time champion Alonso’s decision about what to do next year is less clear.

That is especially true given the fact Mercedes and Red Bull are expected to field unchanged drivers next year, and Ferrari has just re-signed Kimi Raikkonen.

“Formula one is still my priority, it’s my life, and winning the world championship is what I’m hoping,” Alonso told CNN.

“If I don’t see any project that will allow me to fight for the win I will look outside F1 — but that’s (a decision for) November-December. I will try all the possibilities before that.”

Alonso has suffered through McLaren-Honda’s performance and reliability crisis since 2015, and now-retired reigning world champion Rosberg doubts he could do the same.

“For me, after those years of fighting for the championship, I couldn’t do that,” the German told Auto Bild.

“I would lack motivation.”

Fernando Alonso – BELGIAN GP PREVIEW

“I love the first race after the summer break! It’s a great feeling to come back feeling rested, relaxed and recharged, and ready to go again for the second half of the season. I’ve enjoyed time away with family and friends, worked hard on my training and now I’m really looking forward to getting back in the car.

“Spa is incredible – for many of us it’s one of our favourite tracks. It’s got a legendary reputation and it’s totally deserved. The feeling when you drive Eau Rouge is completely different to any other corner on the calendar. You’re so low in the car and the gradient is so steep that as you go up it you can only see the sky – it’s completely surreal.

“As the season goes on we’re getting stronger and stronger, and I hope the second half of the year will bring us some more points-earning finishes. This race is a difficult challenge for the whole team – the engineers and the mechanics – as you’re on the throttle for almost three-quarters of the lap, which makes it’s a tough circuit for both the car and the driver. We know we’ll have to work hard to get any kind of result there, but it’s a long lap and there are plenty of overtaking opportunities, so we’ll keep pushing to get everything we can from the weekend.”

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