Fernando Alonso says it is his "intention" to extend his stay at Ferrari beyond his current contract. Although reportedly frustrated with the performance of his red car, the Spaniard is scheduled to stay at Maranello for two more years. He has been linked with a return to McLaren for the British team's works Honda foray beginning next year, but rumours have also hinted at a staggering nine-digit sum for a new Ferrari deal beyond 2016.
"I have a two year contract and so I have no hurry to sign, even if that is my intention," Alonso said at Spa-Francorchamps, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport. "The question is why there are these exaggerated and out-of-context informations out there to damage my image," he added, "but it is not important."
It was not clear that he was pointing the finger at Ferrari, but in Belgium on Thursday he did question boss Marco Mattiacci's assertion that the team is plotting a course back to the top by creating a culture more willing to take risks. "For years I hear that we have to take more risks," Alonso is quoted by Italy's Autosprint.
"At the end of 2011 I heard these messages, and in 2012 we introduced the pullrod suspension at the front. But that's not the point," he insisted. "The point is to make sure that everything works together, improving not only the car but also the factory and the facilities."
Meanwhile, Mercedes' Toto Wolff was asked by La Gazzetta about the reports linking Alonso with a new EUR 100 million Ferrari deal. "Whether the number is true or not has nothing to do with the current market," the German answered. "There are many young drivers, like Ricciardo and Bottas and Kvyat, who drive for one to two million. I am convinced that driver salaries are dropping." (GMM)