Fernando Alonso has not ruled out McLaren in the 2017 title hunt despite their lack of performance for the past couple of years.

The Spaniard pointed out the opportunity midfield teams have for next year when the new regulations come into play, and won’t discuss the possibility of switching teams at the end of the season.

“It’s not that unlikely that we will fight for the championship next year. Who knows?” Alonso said.

“The rule changes is quite an opportunity for all of us and teams that are in the midfield now could have a good chance next year to recover a lot of the gap.

“I think we have another few months now on the engine that I think will be quite important for recovering the power that we are missing, so I think things are quite open for next year. I am not that pessimistic and I am not thinking that we will not be in that fight, who knows?

“And then for the future I will see next year around summer time or something, so for the next 12 months I will not speak about the future because if not it will be long press conferences! But we will see, I finish the contract at the end of next year and there are a lot of changes coming for the regulations, tyres, hopefully performance, which could make the cars more attractive to drive again.”

While all F1 teams will have to start preparing for 2017 soon if they’re to hit the ground running once the new regulations are introduced, Alonso believes that McLaren is competent enough to complete both simultaneously.

“Obviously there are some areas where you can have an advantage this year and next year such as the engine and the fuel and power unit, plus some aspects on the mechanical side of the car.

“I think we need to combine these two things and also for the team it’s important to finish as high as possible in terms of the constructors’ championship. It’s not that you can stop completely this year and we will try to do both things. We are a big team and we are able, I think, to do both things at the same time.”

Alonso currently sits twelfth in the Drivers’ Championship standings, four positions ahead of his teammate Jenson Button who has five points to his name.

Image via XPB Images

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