My destiny is in my hands - Alonso
Fernando Alonso insists he will decide where he wants to drive next year and that recent movements in the driver market are down to decisions he has made.
Sebastian Vettel will leave Red Bull at the end of this year and is set to head to Ferrari, which tallied with reports that Alonso is set to leave the Italian team. However, rather than being pushed out by Ferrari, Alonso, whose contract is supposed to run until 2016, is certain he is still the key to the driver market and others are fitting around him.
"I have a very unique position," he said. "Thanks to so many years and respect and work that I did on the track, I decide what I do and when I do it. Probably some of the things that are happening are a consequence of my thinking. I have my mind set and I have had a plan very clear for the last two or three months.
"I know what I want to do and everything is moving in the right direction, but at the moment it is still not 100% complete. Everything is moving in the right direction and I am the decision maker. Whatever I do will have some consequences and I have that privileged position that I am lucky for that right now.
"I repeat now. Whatever I want to do I will do, and in the moment I want to do it. I will race more or less in whatever place I want. After that the others will move their position probably. When I finally make my decision, we will see what it is, and I know what I want to do and I will tell you at the time."
Asked whether a sabbatical year was possible, Alonso hinted that things were not as they seem.
"There are many options. The thing that you need to understand is that from outside they say one thing and from the inside it's very different. For the last two or three months you should understand which direction I am moving, but you didn't get it. When I will tell you, you will understand right."
Alonso has been linked most strongly to McLaren, but it says it does not have any drivers under contract for next year, meaning Alonso could be left high and dry if negotiations fall through. Mercedes has made clear it is "99.99%" certain it will stick with Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, while Red Bull has opted for Daniil Kvyat as Vettel's replacement. Alonso said he has been approached by several teams and that he formulated his plan a month ago.
"They [other teams] are curious because there are so many rumours. They call or get in touch just to know about your position or possibilities for next year, and as I said I have the opportunity to do whatever I want. I will do what I think is the best thing for me right now. It is a combination of hungry for success and wanting to win and become champion, I want to become happy and have a good life.
"There are many things that when I put together a month ago, it showed me a direction to go. I've been following that direction with some movements and everything is going according to plan and hopefully I can tell you soon."
And Alonso was not fazed about being overlooked by Red Bull.
"Not really. The problem of Red Bull is that they have been very successful with Sebastian and Daniel and now Daniil. So it is very understandable that they follow their programme. My position on Red Bull was that it was never a priority for me, so that changed things as well."
As for Ferrari, Alonso said it is up to the new management of Sergio Marchionne and Marco Mattiacci to turn things around after they replaced Luca di Montezemolo and Stefano Domenicali as chairman and team principal respectively.
"Whatever I do I come second [at Ferrari in recent years]. Ferrari needs to win because it's here to win. If we didn't win all those years it's because something was not working. It's up the new people to change the things that were not working. We will see what they change."