Fernando Alonso says he is open to staying at McLaren beyond 2017

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On this month’s episode of ‘The Circuit’, CNN’s Amanda Davies sits down with McLaren’s two-time world champion Fernando Alonso.

Depsite finishing sixth at the Hungarian Grand Prix last month, the Spaniard has not been able to challenge for a world title since winning the championship in 2006.

As we pass the midway point of the season, question marks remain over whether he will stay with McLaren beyond the current campaign.

He said: “I’m very open. I’m talking to McLaren, of course, because it’s my team and I think we have unfinished business together to win Formula 1… What we need [is] to be competitive, if that happens I will consider for sure to stay on and win with the car.”

With widespread speculation about the 36-year-old retiring from the sport following his formidable debut at the Indy 500 earlier this year, he insisted that he will look at another team first before making a decision on his F1 future.

“I will look at another team first. Formula 1 is still my priority, my life and winning this World Championship is what I’m hoping for.

“If I don’t see any project that will allow me to fight for the win I will look outside Formula 1 but that’s more like in November or December and I will try all the possibilities before that.”

Watch the full episode here!

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Sebastian Vettel wins Hungarian GP in Ferrari one-two

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Sebastian Vettel increased his drivers’ world championship lead to 14 points on Sunday when he led Kimi Raikkonen home in a dominant Ferrari one-two at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

In his 50th race for Ferrari, the four-time champion German controlled the contest from pole position in stifling heat to reel off his first win in five races since the Monaco Grand Prix.

His main title rival Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes finished fourth, after handing a podium finish back to his team-mate Valtteri Bottas on the final lap following a late switch to enable the Briton to attack the two Ferraris.

Dutchman Max Verstappen finished fifth for Red Bull after surviving an opening lap collision with his team-mate Daniel Ricciardo that saw the angry Australian forced into an early retirement.

Two-time champion Spaniard Fernando Alonso came home sixth and recorded the fastest lap of the race for McLaren-Honda after a stirring and often remarkable drive.

Vettel, who started the day just a point ahead of Hamilton, increased his lead by another 13 after 11 of this year’s 20 races as the circus takes a now-traditional three-week European summer holiday before the Belgian Grand Prix.

It was Ferrari’s first one-two in Hungary since 2004.

Provided by AFP

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Sebastian Vettel takes pole position at Hungarian GP as Kimi Raikkonen claims second in a Ferrari front row

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Sebastian Vettel (C), Kimi Raikkonen (R) and Valtteri Bottas (L).

Championship leader Sebastian Vettel grabbed pole position for Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix as Ferrari locked out the front row of the grid in a tense, dramatic and record-breaking qualifying session on Saturday.

The 30-year-old four-time champion clocked a best lap of one minute 16.276 seconds to secure his third pole at the Hungaroring circuit and the 48th of his career.

His success gives him a perfect opportunity to make the most of the prime starting position and increase his one point lead over Lewis Hamilton in the standings.

“Yes, yes, grazie tuti (thanks everyone),” screamed german Vettel on his slowdown lap. “The car has been incredible today and I love this track. Front row for us is incredible.

“We’re working hard. It is just great. Obviously, the last race wasn’t great for us, but we are here now and I am happy where we are as a team.”

His Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen was second fastest and will start alongside Vettel at the front of the grid ahead of the two Mercedes led by Valtteri Bottas, who was third, and three-time champion Briton Hamilton.

Hamilton said he was not surprised by Ferrari’s overnight leap in performance.

“They were always going to be quick here and I was reasonably satisfied with our performance. I thought we did quite well, except in Q3, for me,” he said. “But you can’t overtake here and it will be a train unless we can do something on the strategy.”

Dutchman Max Verstappen was fifth for Red Bull ahead of his Australian team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, with German Nico Hulkenberg seventh for Renault and two-time champion Spaniard Fernando Alonso eighth for McLaren-Honda on his 36th birthday.

TOUGH RETURN

On a hot day at the Hungaroring, with an air temperature of 28 degrees and a track temperature of 57, the session began with a fiercely-competitive opening section in which Briton Paul di Resta, Williams’s reserve driver, made his first appearance at a Grand Prix since 2013 as replacement for the unwell Brazilian Felipe Massa.

It was a tough return for the Scot and, despite a valiant effort, he was eliminated in 19th place along with Dane Kevin Magnussen of Haas, his Williams team-mate Lance Stroll and the two Saubers of German Pascal Wahrlein and Swede Marcus Ericsson.

Vettel topped the times, but the chasing pack, led by Verstappen, were closer at that stage than in the final practice, with Raikkonen third ahead of Hamilton.

Vettel, Hamilton and Bottas were the first out for Q2, the Englishman reporting “there’s a bit of vibration on these tyres” as he rejoined the fray in pursuit of a place in the top 10 shootout.

The German maintained his narrow advantage after the first flying runs ahead of Verstappen and Hamilton, who then responded with a new track record lap of 1:16.693 to go top as Vettel, Verstappen and Raikkonen stayed in the pits.

In a final flurry of Q2 action, Spaniard Carlos Sainz squeezed through in 10th for Toro Rosso, pushing Briton Jolyon Palmer of Renault out of the final session.

On the opening Q3 laps, Hamilton went off at Turn Four and chose to abort the lap, pulling into the pits. Bottas clocked 1:16.631 and then Vettel raised the record bar again to 1:16.276.

Surprisingly, given his earlier grumbles about the tyres and his ‘off’ in Q2, Hamilton was soon out for his final run.

“Big vibration on these tyres,” he said, again, as he launched his first flying lap.

But it was in vain as Vettel took pole from Raikkonen, who produced a scorching final lap to snatch second from his Finnish compatriot Bottas.

Provided by AFP Sport

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