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McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh says he would love to have Fernando Alonso back in his stable if he decides to leave Ferrari.
The Spaniard’s future with the Italian team has been shrouded in mystery for the past couple of months ever since it was revealed Alonso had been reprimanded for comments he made at the Hungarian Grand Prix by team president Luca di Montezemolo.
The 32-year-old has reportedly felt uncomfortable at Ferrari since then and the team did little to improve the situation by re-signing Kimi Raikkonen for the forthcoming season.
Alonso views Raikkonen as a threat to his status as the number one driver with the team and fears he could derail his aspirations of winning a third World Drivers’ Championship.
While Alonso has a contract until 2016 it is thought he is ready to discuss terminating it early if he is offered the lead driver at one of the top teams.
McLaren now look set to offer Alonso a way out and have reportedly made an approach for a driver who left the team in acrimonious circumstances in 2007 following a fall out with former competitor Lewis Hamilton.
Asked if he would like to re-sign Alonso for the 2014 season, Whitmarsh replied: “Yes – any team would. He’s the best driver.
“I don’t know his contractual situation. I assume he’s under contract,” he told BBC Sport.
McLaren are now hopeful of pairing Alonso with Jenson Button as they seek to replace the struggling Sergio Perez.
The Woking-based outfit had previously said they would give the Mexican another season to prove himself after a disappointing 2013 campaign but are now thought to be exploring other options.