Fernando Alonso has admitted that he does not know whether he will be racing in Formula 1 next season as he approaches the exit door at Ferrari.
Alonso was thought to hold the keys to the 2015 driver market, but he was caught by surprise when four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel confirmed last Saturday that he would be leaving Red Bull at the end of the season.
According to Vettel’s current team principal, Christian Horner, he is bound for Ferrari, seemingly as Alonso’s replacement as the Spaniard’s relationship with the Italian team has soured over the past few months.
Alonso has been linked with a move back to McLaren for some time, but following Vettel’s move and Red Bull’s decision to promote Daniil Kvyat into a seat as his replacement, he appears to have very few options if he does not return to the British team.
Speaking to NBCSN’s Will Buxton in the paddock ahead of this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix, Alonso admitted that he does not know if he will be in F1 next season, although he did insist that his future is in the sport.
“My future will be in Formula 1,” Alonso said when asked by Buxton if he would be in F1 next season. When the question was asked again, he replied: “We don’t know.”
NBC: Will you definitely be in F1 next year? FA: My future will be in Formula 1. NBC: Next season? FA: We don’t know.
— Will Buxton (@willbuxton) October 9, 2014
This is an interesting admission from Alonso given his stock as one of the most talented drivers in F1. Ultimately, if he has decided that he will do anything for a seat at Mercedes, with the next opportunity coming in 2016 upon the expiration of Lewis Hamilton’s contract, a one-year deal may not be suffice for McLaren, thus forcing him into taking a sabbatical.
On a sombre weekend for Formula 1, the driver market perpetuates in its state of flux as it has done for some time now.