Fernando Alonso has refuted suggestions he could walk away from McLaren and Formula 1 mid-season, if Honda's struggles continue to weigh the team down.
Honda expected to make another step towards the front of F1 with its 2017 power unit, but has fallen further behind with the revamped package it has developed for the third season of its current programme.
Alonso is out of contract at the end of 2017, and former Red Bull driver and close friend Mark Webber suggested McLaren-Honda's current form could mean the three-time champion does not even get that far.
Asked about Webber's comments on potentially not seeing out the season, Alonso replied: "No, it's definitely not true.
"I heard [the comments]. It's normal for the outside, and other drivers to speak and I also read comments from many people in Spain... if one ex-driver or motorbike rider has an interview, there will always be a question about Alonso and how difficult the situation is.
"Everyone is [presented as] quite close to me and it's like I have depression! It's not like that.
"In Formula 1 I am delivering my best and I'm more prepared than ever. The team is not very competitive now - and OK, that's true.
"There's nothing we can do from one day to another so it's just hard-working, but at the same time the team is expecting an extra job from me now, an extra result from me.
"It's like when we were in Australia and all the predictions, the simulations said that we would be last and we were 10th [until late in the race].
"And in China if the predictions say that we are last, then hopefully Alonso will be in the points."
Alonso made it to the second phase of qualifying in the season opener last month, and started 12th.
He spent the bulk of the what he considered "probably best race of my life" in 10th place, but was forced to retire late due to the aerodynamic damage that was now believed to have been caused by a brake component.
"I think in the end it was the front brake that came off the car and it broke some parts of the sidepod and parts of the floor, but only on one side so the car was pulling to that side massively," he said.
"It felt like a suspension problem but it lost all aerodynamic behaviour only on one side so it was a retirement anyway.
"It happened between Turn 10 and 11."