Fernando Alonso insists he will be in for the long haul with his new team and is optimistic they will be able to “challenge Mercedes soon”.
The two-time World Champion finally confirmed last week that he is to leave Ferrari after five disappointing years and, although no announcement has been made, he is set to rejoin McLaren-Honda.
It was initially reported that Alonso was after a one-year deal as he wanted an option to move to Mercedes in 2016 should one of Lewis Hamilton or Nico Rosberg decide to leave.
However, the Spaniard says he is ready for a “long-term relationship” with his next team and he has good odds with Paddy Power to win next year.
“Now it’s time to look to the future with optimism and prepare for 2015 in a better way,” he told Sky Sports F1.
“We need to see how things go for everyone next year. Mercedes definitely have a big advantage and they will probably carry this advantage into next year.”
It’s no surprise that the Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg are favourites again with Paddy Power for 2015, but Alonso will be eager to start challenging in 2016.
He added: “But I will join a project that is not for next year only, it is a long-term relationship and it is a project which will hopefully challenge Mercedes soon and this is why I have made this decision.”