Fernando Alonso has denied claims by McLaren boss Ron Dennis that he could take a sabbatical from Formula One in 2016.
Dennis suggested to the BBC during qualifying for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Saturday that the two-time world champion may take a break from the sport after a tough year.
Alonso has retired on seven occasions this season as McLaren have struggled to adapt with their Honda engines, the 34-year-old claiming 11 points.
The Spaniard looked set for a more promising weekend after impressing in practice, but once again he struggled in qualifying and will start from 17th on Sunday in the season-ending race.
“I have an open mind,” said the McLaren boss. “Some ideas have involved those sorts of considerations – sabbatical years.”
However, Alonso says he will be on the grid at the Australian Grand Prix at the start of the 2016 season and is looking forward to developing McLaren’s car during the off-season.
“I will be, but I’ve been answering the same question to your colleagues,” Alonso told Sky Sports F1.
“When Ron says something you have the opportunity to ask him to clarify because I don’t know what the intention is or what he means.
“We all want to improve and we all want to put the car on winter testing and improve.”