Alonso confirms Mercedes approach


Fernando Alonso has revealed he shunned the advances of Mercedes to remain at McLaren following Nico Rosberg's shock retirement.

Rosberg stunned the Formula One champions days after claiming the 2016 drivers' title by stepping away from the sport, saying he had achieved everything he set out to do.

That left a space alongside Lewis Hamilton for 2017 and a number of drivers were linked as being Rosberg's replacement, including Alonso, before Valtteri Bottas was handed the seat.

Alonso confirmed there had been enquiries regarding his future but moving to F1's dominant force was never on his agenda.

"When Rosberg retired there were a couple of days where I had some conversations, some phone calls arrived to me, but I was not willing to discuss anything because I was happy at McLaren," he said.

"Let's say Mercedes had to do a little check of everyone - which was understandable.

"It was nothing really strange or really deep into the conversation or the possibility, it was just a check round they did with everyone.

"With me, they wanted to hear the situation.

"My situation was clear: I had this year with McLaren-Honda and I was happy here and there was no point to talk any more about the possibility.

"I think McLaren-Honda, along with Ferrari, are the two most prestigious teams."

Alonso made the revelation at the launch of McLaren's 2017 car, which has seen them move away from their silver and black livery with an orange and black design.

And while he remains committed to the British-based team, he hinted his situation may change if they struggle to be competitive for a third successive season.

"I think for the future we will see," he added.

"Until August, September, there is no point to talk about anything because I will be fully concentrated on this year's championship and we need to see which of the cars and the teams will be competitive with the new rules. 

"Maybe we find out a new team dominates Formula One with these new cars, so that's the first thing."