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).