Conversations and phone calls between Alonso and Mercedes did take place over joining Lewis Hamilton but the Spaniard admitted he’s happy at McLaren.
As soon as Nico Rosberg confirmed his retirement from F1 just a handful of days after taking the 2016 title, rumours circulated about who could replace him.
Naturally, two-time champion Alonso was one of the first drivers linked to it, despite being under contract with McLaren for another season.
While he’s now revealed discussions did happen with the Silver Arrows, Alonso said he’s happy at McLaren and there was little point continuing further.
It would’ve seen Alonso partner Hamilton for the first time since 2007, and we all know how that ended… so maybe it’s for the best. Mercedes eventually went for Valtteri Bottas.
And who knows, maybe McLaren and its newly-orange MCL32 come good in 2017? We’ll see. But Alonso is happy for now.
Here’s what he’s quoted saying by Sky Sports at the new car’s launch:
“Once Rosberg retired, Mercedes did a little check on everyone. It was nothing really strange or deep, it was just a round check they did to hear my situation. There were a couple of days where there were conversations and phone calls arrived to me, but there was no point in discussing them. I’m happy. McLaren-Honda, along with Ferrari, are the two most prestigious teams.”
Alonso’s been pretty vocal about not being a fan of the previous regulations, but big rule changes have come into force this year.
Perhaps the beefier, more aggressive and quicker cars will rekindle his romance. But, there’s no denying (and he made it clear at the launch) he’s committed to McLaren and returning the team to winning ways.
He’s also not looking too far ahead about his future, with his McLaren contract ending this year. Alonso said he’ll consider whether he wants to carry on in F1 after the summer break.