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Porsche dismisses Alonso Le Mans rumors for 2018

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SPA, Belgium – Porsche has dismissed suggestions that two-time Formula 1 world champion Fernando Alonso could join its line-up for the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2018, with its existing six-driver squad unlikely to change for next year.

Alonso announced last month that he would be entering this year’s Indianapolis 500 with McLaren, Honda and Andretti Autosport as part of his push to win the Triple Crown of Motorsport, which also features the Monaco Grand Prix and Le Mans.

A two-time winner in Monaco, Alonso has long expressed a desire to race at Le Mans, with attempts to enter in 2014 and 2015 being refused by Ferrari and McLaren respectively.

A report from Spanish newspaper Marca suggested that Alonso had already commenced talks with Porsche regarding a drive for 2018, but this was denied by its LMP1 team principal, Andreas Seidl, in Spa on Friday.

“At the moment it’s not on the table. We only have two cars, and I do not see that changing for next year,” Seidl said.

“With the six drivers we have, we are very very happy. And we plan long-term. So at the moment it is not something that is on the table. The topic is not available.

“It would have been easier in 2015 with the third car. We had talks there but it didn’t work out in the end. As I said, at the moment there is no options available.

“We have six drivers that are very well in contract. We plan long-term, always.”

Porsche currently fields Neel Jani, Andre Lotterer and Nick Tandy in its No. 1 919 Hybrid in the FIA World Endurance Championship, with Brendon Hartley, Earl Bamber and Timo Bernhard sharing the No. 2.

Daniel Ricciardo would relish being Lewis Hamilton’s teammate

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BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) — Daniel Ricciardo says he would relish the challenge of having Lewis Hamilton as his teammate if he joins Mercedes next year.

Ricciardo is out of contract at Red Bull at the end of the season and expressed interest in joining teams like Mercedes or Ferrari to help him challenge for the championship.

The Australian says he would “love to obviously be challenged against the best and Lewis is obviously up there.”

He adds: “I don’t want to say it’s just Lewis I’m looking for but that would be a good challenge.”

Ricciardo says he won’t accept a faster car if it means playing second fiddle to an established star.

He says “there’s always been really good clarity and fairness (at Red Bull) … and I would expect that environment everywhere.”