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Vettel, Hamilton would prefer current F1 teammates to partnering Alonso

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Formula 1 title rivals Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton have both said they would prefer to keep their current teammates than be joined by Fernando Alonso for 2018 as the Spaniard plots his next move.

Alonso is out of contract with McLaren at the end of 2017, and has stressed that he must be in a car that is capable of winning races next season after three years languishing down the order due to continual issues with Honda’s power units.

While McLaren could ditch Honda and rekindle its previous partnership with Mercedes for next year, Alonso is known to be evaluating options elsewhere.

Should the 2005 and 2006 world champion want the best seat on offer, drives at both Mercedes and Ferrari are available for next year as neither team has confirmed its line-up yet.

Mercedes and Ferrari have won seven races combined so far this year, and are respectively considering the futures of Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen, both of whom are out of contract at the end of the year.

However, the title-fighting drivers at both teams seemed uneasy about the prospect of being partnered by Alonso in 2018, saying they would prefer to work with their current teammates.

“I’m pretty happy with the teammate I have,” Hamilton said.

“So it’s not even a thought in my thought process right now.”

Vettel added: “Well, I’m not responsible to sign the drivers, but if I had a say, I’d say I prefer Kimi.”

Hamilton previously spent one year alongside Alonso at McLaren in 2007 before the Spaniard’s acrimonious exit, while Vettel fought with him for the world title in 2010 and 2012.

Should Alonso leave McLaren at the end of the year, an alternative may be to return to Renault, who he has enjoyed two previous stints with (2003-2006, 2008-2009).

F1 2017 driver review: Romain Grosjean

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Romain Grosjean

Team: Haas
Car No.: 8
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Best Finish: P6 (Austria)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 28
Championship Position: 13th

After leading Haas’ charge through its debut Formula 1 season in 2016, Romain Grosjean once again stepped up as team leader for the American team through its sophomore campaign despite scoring one point fewer.

Haas did not expect any major step in performance heading into 2017, having dealt with building all-new cars for two different sets of regulations, but the team was able to match its season one points total by the halfway mark this time around.

The big boost was the addition of a second points scoring driver – Kevin Magnussen – to partner Grosjean. Grosjean looked increasingly comfortable at Haas even if the car often presented problems, particularly under braking.

Radio rants were frequent, with Grosjean unable to drive around the issues as Magnussen did. But he was nevertheless able to finish the year as Haas’ top scorer, with his highlight moment being a perfect run to sixth in Austria.

Greater consistency was evident from both Grosjean and Haas through 2017, yet there were still swings in form that need to be ironed out in the future. The team was unable to capitalize on Renault and Toro Rosso’s late season difficulties that could have seen it jump to sixth in the constructors’ championship.

Grosjean once again proved himself to be a very competent and talented racer through 2017, but needs a little more panache – perhaps down to the car more than anything – if he is to put himself in the frame for a top-line drive in the future.

Haas continues to offer a good platform, though, and its third season should be its best yet thanks to the stability in the regulations. It will be a real chance for Grosjean to show what he can do.

Season High: A perfect run to sixth in Austria, leading the midfield cars.

Season Low: Crashing early with Ocon in Brazil, hurting Haas’ constructors’ hopes.