Manager says driver plans to honor his contract at McLaren Fernando Alonso will not be moving to Mercedes for the 2017 Formula 1 season says the Spaniard’s manager, Flavio Briatore.”How is it, whenever a seat becomes free, Fernando is always mentioned?,” the former Benetton and Renault team boss told Italy’s Gazzetta dello Sport. “There is a contract (with McLaren) and we respect it.”
Alonso, 35, previously teamed up with Lewis Hamilton at McLaren in 2007 — a season that saw both drivers finish just a point behind champion Kimi Raikkonen — and had been among the favorites to fill the seat at Mercedes vacated by Nico Rosberg.
At the end of the 2014 season, Alonso left Ferrari to re-join McLaren despite having two years remaining on his contract. Briatore, however, says that the two situations are not the same.
“The situation was different and we had an agreement with [then Ferrari president Luca di] Montezemolo,” said Briatore. “If we didn’t win the title in 2014, he would be free. Luca kept that promise. It’s true that (then team principal Marco) Mattiacci offered us a three-year renewal, but we refused.”