Aug.2 (GMM) Honda chiefs in Hungary stepped up the rhetoric as they bid to attract Fernando Alonso to the Japanese team for 2009 and beyond.
"We'd love to have him," team principal Ross Brawn said, "because he is the best."Of all the drivers right now, he is the only one that I see as totally complete, as Michael (Schumacher) was," the Briton is quoted as saying by the Spanish newspaper El Pais.Alonso, 27, is a former double world champion, but his run of titles stopped when he made his disastrous move to McLaren in 2007, and subsequently returned to a less competitive Renault team this year.Honda chief executive Nick Fry said: "Hopefully Fernando decides to come to us."We have developed a very advanced KERS system and we are working very hard on the car for next year."We have four wind tunnels, one of them in Japan, working on the project, which is well under way."If Alonso is with us, we can have a winning team," Fry added.It is understood Alonso is seeking a one-year contract for 2009, amid speculation he wants to move on to Ferrari in 2010.Brawn, however, said Honda want minimally a firm two-year commitment from Alonso."It would have to be at least for two years because that is the time we would need, with Fernando's help, to become a winning team and then convince him to be with us even longer."But when someone gets married, they always think it is for life," Brawn told the Spanish language newspaper.He suggested that only the arrival of Alonso for next year would convince Honda to replace either Jenson Button or Rubens Barrichello, who are both out of contract."We are happy with the performance of our drivers. At this time, I don't know which one of them would move for Fernando, because Rubens is doing well at the moment."