Formula 1

Fernando Alonso linked with 2014 Red Bull seat

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Could Alonso partner Vettel at Red Bull? (©GettyImages)
Could Alonso partner Vettel at Red Bull? (©GettyImages).

Speculation drifting around the paddock after Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix has linked Fernando Alonso with the vacant seat at Red Bull for 2014.

The Spaniard, who currently has a contract with Ferrari until the end of 2016, has become frustrated in recent races at the lack of development at Maranello, though some are not convinced there is any truth to this new rumour.

Despite those thoughts some reports have emerged suggesting Red Bull really could be considering a move for the double world champion to partner Sebastian Vettel at the team next season.

So, what's been said?

According to Sport Bild, Luis Garcia Abad, the manager of the two-time champion was seen holding talks with Red Bull team principal Christian Horner on Sunday, Garcia Abad is also the manager for Red Bull's GP3 driver Carlos Sainz Jr., but Horner would not deny the suggestions was about Sainz Jr., who is possibly being lined up for Toro Rosso next year, as opposed to Alonso.

"There are statements about Kimi and statements about Fernando but we have to make sure nothing clouds our judgment about next year." Horner said.

Most in the paddock believe this could be a ploy either on the part of Red Bull, attempting to de-stablise Alonso at Ferrari, or by Alonso himself in an attempt to add extra motivation to his team.

Alonso's frustrations moved up another noch in Budapest after a poor weekend that never saw him challenging for the top positions.

We are trying to close the gap," Alonso told Spanish reporters after the race, "but the superiority of the Red Bull is overwhelming.

"And not just Red Bull, also Mercedes, Lotus ..

"If the team can make some good new parts in the summer and we win four or five races in a row, we can still win the title," added Alonso.

But his comments to Italian TV were even more critical.

"It is four years we have had a slower car, between half and one second behind the leader, and we have fought to the end for the world championship still.

"I do not think it will be different this year. We will fight until the end.

Alonso was less forthcoming when it came to the Red Bull rumours. "Nothing to say," he insisted.

Asked if he was considering the length his current contract had to go with Ferrari (three years) he scoffed: "It sounds like the same question put another way. Therefore I will not respond."

Alonso then denied any knowledge of the meeting between his manager and Horner instead firing back at the journalists.

"It's nearly August, so four weeks without Formula One is a very dangerous period for you guys (reporters)," said Alonso.

"I hope you have a calm summer."

Fernando's management team also had a say believing the idea of Alonso and Vettel in the same team was unfeasable.

"Yes," an insider told Marca newspaper, "but only if Vettel is in the second car."

Horner also said there would be no thought of swapping Vettel for Alonso and Sebastian too pushed back the idea of having the Spaniard as his team-mate.

"I am sure that Fernando is a nice guy and I respect him as a driver," said Vettel. "I would rather have Kimi."

 

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