King Juan Carlos I of Spain may have inadvertently confirmed Fernando Alonso's move to McLaren after he announced it in Abu Dhabi.
Juan Carlos, who abdicated the throne earlier this year and was replaced by son Felipe VI, is known to be close to Alonso and said his fellow countryman had told him he will be driving for McLaren next season when quizzed by Spanish television on Sunday. Alonso's move to McLaren is widely expected but remains unconfirmed as the team dithers over announcing his 2015 team-mate.
"I'm here to support Fernando in his last race," King Juan Carlos said. "He told me he is going to join McLaren and that he's very happy."
When asked about what Juan Carlos had said, Alonso laughed and said he is not a man who can challenge royalty.
"What the king says, you can't say anything opposite," Alonso joked. "The king is the king and he is always right."