Dennis: Alonso will win with McLaren

Date published: May 2 2015

Ron Dennis is adamant McLaren will win again and will do so with Fernando Alonso "front and central" in their return to the sharp end of the grid.

The double World Champion joined McLaren this season having spent the last five years at Ferrari in which he finished runner-up on three occasions but failed to win a single grand prix in his last season.

There are, however, rumours that, after just four races into his second stint at McLaren, all is not well.

Some have questioned how Alonso, rated as one of the best drivers on the grid, is coping with his 'new-found proximity to the back-markers'.

"Fernando is a winner, and that's why we hired him," Dennis said in an interview with the official F1 website. "McLaren is a winner, as is Honda, as is McLaren-Honda specifically, and that's why he joined us.

"When he arrived, at the beginning of this year, as I've said, we were significantly off the pace. We're still off the pace, although we're making good progress towards our eventual destination, which is the front of the grid. Fernando knows that.

"He's won two World Championships in the past, and he joined Ferrari with the ambition of returning that famous name to World Championship glory. Don't forget: we last won the World Dhampionship in 2008, but Ferrari's World Championship drought is longer still.

"Fernando won grands prix for Ferrari in the five years he drove for them, between 2010 and 2014, but he didn't quite manage to lift the World Championship crown during that period. That's a regret for him, as he freely admits.

"But during that time he established himself as, to use your words, the best driver on the grid, and, when he decided he wanted to seek pastures new, he chose McLaren-Honda. We were delighted with that, for he was our first choice too."

And although Alonso's first year-long stint at McLaren is still in the forefront of many thoughts, especially in light of their current on-track troubles, Dennis firmly stated that it is in the past.

"People tend to talk a lot of nonsense about the McLaren-Alonso relationship. Okay, 2007 was a stressful year, even though we won eight races and scored more World Championship points than any other team that season. But that's ancient history now. We've all moved on – and by 'we' I mean McLaren, Ferrari and indeed the FIA.

"And the Fernando we're working with today, now, is a fantastically motivated and inspirational man. He's as quick as ever, as competitive as ever, more experienced than ever, more expert than ever, and he combines those traits with an infectious energy and enthusiasm. Ask anyone in our team – mechanics, engineers, marketing people, PR people, cooks, waiters, cleaners, whomever you like – and they'll all say the same."

He added: "And, as I've said throughout this interview, we'll win again, we'll dominate again, and we'll do that together, with Fernando front and central. It'll be a wonderful culmination to his glittering career, and all at McLaren and all at Honda are utterly dedicated to the task of working with him, with Jenson and with everyone else, to help him achieve it."

As for the 33-year-old's contractual situation, Dennis revealed he has a "straight three-year contract with us, with no options.

"It's as simple as that. That's what we wanted to offer him, and that's what he wanted to sign. I can't make it plainer than that, can I?"