Date: 24th November 2014 at 10:55am
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Fernando Alonso is confident that his yet unnamed new project will be his best bet to challenge Mercedes in the future.

Alonso’s departure from Ferrari was confirmed over the course of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend, whilst Sebastian Vettel’s arrival from Red Bull Racing was finally also confirmed.

With reports for a while suggesting that Fernando Alonso is set to join McLaren in the biggest deal in Formula One history, Alonso confirmed that he was set to agree a multi-year deal with his new team.

Two-time Formula One World Champion Fernando Alonso is reportedly set to sign a deal with an estimated salary of £25million which is expected to be a binding two-year contract with an option for a third season according to newspaper reports in Spain.

The move is believed to have been engineered by Honda, who have been desperate to secure a marquee driver since announcing their return to the sport.

Speaking after his final race for Ferrari, Alonso told Sky Sports: ?Now it?s time to look to the future with optimism and prepare for 2015 in a better way,?

?We need to see how things go for everyone next year. Mercedes definitely have a big advantage and they will probably carry this advantage into next year. But I will join a project that is not for next year only, it is a long-term relationship and it is a project which will hopefully challenge Mercedes soon and this is why I have made this decision.?


Explaining why he believes his new project offers more chance of success over remaining at Ferrari he added: ?I am looking forward to the future with enthusiasm because when you join a new project it is because you think it is better,?

‘After five years it?s time to move. It?s enough for me. Looking at the future, looking at the prospects, looking at the direction that things are going, I?m probably not so convinced [by Ferrari’s plans],


But whilst Alonso’s imminent return to McLaren is widely known, it is not known who his team-mate will be.

Rumour in the paddock was that Kevin Magnussen would partner Alonso at McLaren.

At 22-year-old Magnussen is 12 years Jenson Button’s junior. So with a view on the years to come, Magnussen is clearly the favourite.

But whilst Magnussen has done well in his debut season, having often outperformed Button on a Saturday, when it really matters on a Sunday, Button has shown why he is a former world champion himself.

Button outscoring Magnussen 126 points to 55 in the 2014 drivers championship.

Magnussen would prove to be the cheaper option and after splashing the cash on Alonso, that could be an option that McLaren prefer.

But 2009 Formula One World Champion Jenson Button insists he isn’t after a big cash deal to remain in Formula One and the longer the announcement takes, it feels like the the more chance Button has of remaining with the team.


‘[My dad] would be livid if he knew my circumstances right now,’

‘I hope he will be proud but I hope this is not the last time I will be talking to you in F1.

‘I haven’t got a clue if I will be racing next year. I hope they will make a decision very soon for Kevin and for my sake.

‘People have their reasons and I don’t have the reasons as to why it takes so long.’
Button told the BBC.

 

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