Fernando Alonso claims to have known his plan for the 2015 Formula 1 season for many months as he closes in on a return to McLaren to make room for Sebastian Vettel at Ferrari.
The F1 paddock at Suzuka was rocked today when Vettel announced he would be leaving Red Bull after over 15 years of association. Although an official announcement is yet to be made, he is set to join Ferrari as per his team principal, Christian Horner.
Alonso’s relationship with Ferrari has soured over the past few months as both the driver and the team become frustrated with the lack of success being attained out on track. According to paddock insiders, both parties mutually agreed to terminate his contract one year early on Thursday.
The two-time world champion is being courted by McLaren ahead of its renewed partnership with Honda in 2015, but he remained coy when asked about his future by NBCSN’s Will Buxton.
“At the moment, nothing changed compared to Thursday,” Alonso explained. “I have probably [had] my mind set for three or four months already, I had a plan on my mind.
“I have that privilege, that opportunity to choose what I want to do, anytime I want to do, any place I want to go – so everything is according to plan at the moment.”
When pressed further about what he wants to do in 2015, he batted the question away, saying that he is enjoying having plenty of options for next season.
“This is something we need to wait a little bit until I tell you,” he said. “Everything that is happening is good, is according to plan as I said. I’ve been working extremely professionally and determined to help Ferrari for several years, and some respect some credit, and now I have that privileged position that I’m the decision maker and I’ll do the right one.”
Alonso had been linked with a straight swap with Vettel, taking his place at Red Bull. This seat will instead be taken by Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat, but Alonso said a move to the defending champions was never on the cards.
“Red Bull was never a priority, so it’s not a big worry at the moment,” he said. “As I said, I know what I want to do, and hopefully I will tell you soon.”