Alonso puzzled by Ron’s sabbatical claims

Fernando Alonso has dismissed suggestions from Ron Dennis that he could take a sabbatical in 2016, saying he is confused by the McLaren boss's comments.

Although the Woking-based squad confirmed earlier this year that they have retained both Alonso and Jenson Button for next year, Dennis revealed ahead of qualifying in Abu Dhabi that the two-time World Champion could sit out next season if McLaren-Honda continue to struggle.

"I have an open mind to anything – and some of the ideas have involved those sorts of considerations, sabbatical years, etc," Dennis said. "But at this moment of time, I would say that we believe we know where we will be. I think we navigated a difficult weekend [in Japan] in respect of our drivers.

"I took quite a high level of flack out of that weekend and it was a challenge to navigate out of it, but nevertheless, here we are. We have a great number of driver options and two of the best drivers in the world in our cars.

"When we have to take the decision we will take it together, at this moment of time our drivers for next year are Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button."

After failing to make it out of Q1 at the Yas Marina Circuit on Saturday, Alonso was asked to respond to Dennis' claims and he insisted he will race in 2016.

"I will be [on the grid]. I haven't spoken to him [Dennis], so I don't think that's true. It's always the same story. When Ron or another driver says something then I have to respond and guess what they meant to say.

"When Ron says something, you have the perfect opportunity to ask him to clarify his quotes. I don’t know what his intention is or what he means. We all want to improve and see how competitive we are and are optimistic. We will improve, let’s go to winter testing."

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