Fernando Alonso not planning to quit Formula 1 mid-season

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Fernando Alonso says he has no plans to quit racing in Formula 1 mid-way through the 2017 season despite McLaren-Honda’s ongoing struggles.

Alonso began 2017 hoping to challenge for race wins and world titles once again as the McLaren-Honda partnership entered its third year.

The reality has been greatly different, with an array of issues with the Honda power unit leaving Alonso and teammate Stoffel Vandoorne on the sidelines for much of pre-season testing.

Alonso retired from the opening round in Australia after spending much of the race battling for P10, and believed that even a run to the lower reaches of the points flattered McLaren’s true ability.

Alonso’s ongoing struggles led friend and ex-F1 driver Mark Webber to suggest the Spaniard could quit F1 mid-season, preferring not to race at all instead of being at the back of the grid.

When asked by reporters in China about Webber’s suggestion, Alonso said it was “definitely not true” before explaining how content he was with his own performances.

“It’s normal from the outside that drivers speak, and I have read comments from many people and in Spain also if one ex-driver or motorbike rider they have one question that is also about Alonso,” Alonso said, as quoted by crash.net.

“Everyone seems to be quite close to me and I have a depression! But it’s not like that. In Formula 1 I am delivering at my best, I’m more prepared than ever and I perform at my best.

“The team is not very competitive now, OK that’s true and there is not much we can do from one day to another, it’s hard work.

“At the same time, I think that the team is expecting an extra job from me now, an extra result, as we did in Australia where the predictions and simulations said we were last and we were 10th.

“In China, if the prediction says we are last, hopefully Alonso is in the points.”