Fernando Alonso says his “first and main priority” for returning to McLaren is so that he can “finish this thing I started in 2007”.
Seven years after leaving the team after a turbulent one-off season, Alonso will once again line up for the Woking squad after signing a multi-year contract.
The Spaniard started his first stint at McLaren in 2007 on the back of winning consecutive Drivers’ Championships with Renault, but he fell out with then team principal Ron Dennis and returned to Enstone after just one year.
Alonso, though, will look to put the wrongs of 2007 right when he returns in 2015.
“I felt it was unfinished business already when I left,” the 33-year-old said. “I brought number one to the cockpit and now I want to bring it back from the inside, driving for them.”
He added: “It is something I want so much because I achieved some good things in my career, and even not winning races in the last years, earned some good reputation and respect from everybody.
“But there was still something not right – the 2007 experience. I didn’t achieve or deliver the best of myself, so now some years later you are more mature, you learn things, you understand things you didn’t at 25 and now I arrive to finish this thing I started in 2007.
“This was the first and main priority to come back.
“We spoke a lot during the year. We have been together at some dinners in some hotel rooms and we both understood that ultimately we both are extremely competitive and we love motor racing so much that sometimes we didn’t agree.”
McLaren CEO Dennis echoed Alonso’s comments, saying everyone at the team is desperate to win again.
“There’s one thing that hasn’t changed and that is Fernando’s absolute focus on winning,” he said. “Of course that sits very comfortably with our own focus; we both desperately want to win.
“One of the things that I really respect in Fernando is that he chose to change direction in leaving one of the most successful teams in Formula One and coming back to McLaren and really addressing what we both feel is unfinished business. We both want to win – and of course all the drivers, including Jenson [Button] and Kevin [Magnussen] want to win – but this is a different type of winning.”