Fernando Alonso has laughed off suggestions he isn’t on Red Bull's shortlist to replace Renault-bound Daniel Ricciardo next season.
Following the announcement from Ricciardo and Renault that he would join the French outfit from 2019, many fans have called for Red Bull to rescue Alonso from his McLaren nightmare.
Red Bull chief Christian Horner, however, didn’t share the same views on the two-time world champion, believing that the Spaniard can bring too much ‘chaos’ to teams, and has often burned bridges for those he has worked for in the past.
“I have huge respect for Fernando, he is a great driver, a fantastic driver, but it's very difficult…he’s tended to cause a bit of chaos wherever he’s gone,” Horner told F1’s official podcast.
“I’m not sure it would be the healthiest thing for the team for Fernando to join. Our preference is to continue to invest in youth than take a driver who is obviously close to the end of his career."
It seems, despite the comments from Horner, Alonso isn’t actually bothered, instead laughing off the comments from the Red Bull chief in a tweet yesterday.
The 37-year-old’s Formula One future has been in question for a number of years now, with McLaren’s consistent struggles in the lower end of the field.
Many thought Red Bull would be a great way for Alonso to have one last attempt at a third world title before moving on, but that looks very unlikely now.
It remains to be seen what the future has in store for Alonso, with many critics and fans believing he will go to Indy Car for 2019 in pursuit of the motorsport triple crown, having already won the Monaco GP and Le-Mans 24 hours, needing only now the Indy 500 to join Graham Hill as the second-ever driver to complete the honour.
Alonso has had a reputation of being hot-headed and having fractious relationships within teams, his relationship with a young Lewis Hamilton a prime example, but it seems he has matured in recent years and is now seen as more of a leader in the paddock.
His talents certainly are wasted at McLaren, who seemingly cannot find any solution to the problems they have had since 2014, and don’t even have Honda to blame this season.
Chief Eric Boullier has left, teammate Stoffel Vandoorne is struggling, and the car just isn’t performing.
Many fans and experts in F1 believe that given the right car, Alonso will fight for race wins, but it seems increasingly less likely that this will happen again for the veteran Spaniard.
As for Red Bull, it seems certain that either Pierre Gasly or Carlos Sainz will replace Ricciardo as Max Verstappen’s teammate for 2019.
French youngster Gasly has had a very positive breakthrough season in Formula 1, scoring 26 points so far for Red Bull junior team Toro Rosso.
Carlos Sainz, now seemingly an F1 veteran at 23 years old has only scored 30 points whilst on loan at Renault, often struggling to outperform teammate Nico Hulkenberg.
Both drivers are a risky gamble for Red Bull, who are in desperate need of becoming consistent race winners again, having fallen from grace since the Hybrid era began in 2014.
Couple this with Red Bull’s new partnership with Honda for next season, and it may by uncertain times for a team so long at the top of the sport.