Fernando Alonso claims he received two offers despite rival boss saying otherwise

Fernando Alonso at the pre-Belgian Grand Prix press conference.

Fernando Alonso will be stepping away from Formula One after this season, 17 years after his debut Grand Prix.

He will, of course, be most remembered in the sport for his two world championships, won back to back in 2005 and 2006 with Renault.

He's had something of a turbulent career since, however, failing to win another championship at several different teams amid accusations of being very difficult to work with.

Alonso has branched out over the past year into other forms of racing. He attempted the 2017 Indy 500 and this year was victorious in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

It had been believed that the Spaniard would be deciding between continuing with F1 or moving into a different racing discipline - a possibility that is now very much alive.

But he isn't the only high-profile driver who made a huge decision this year - Daniel Ricciardo revealed recently that he will be leaving Red Bull to join Renault in 2019.

The two moves have led to a series of changes as both Red Bull and McLaren looked for replacements, but according to Alonso, the Austrian's aren't getting their first choice.

"From one of the top three teams, l already had an offer a couple of times this year," Alonso told Sky Sports F1.

And when he was asked to clarify if that was Red Bull offering him Ricciardo's spot, the 37-year-old was perfectly clear: "Yes," he said.

Daniel Ricciardo and Fernando Alonso before the Belgian Grand Prix.

Things are made particularly interesting because of comments made by both Red Bull boss Christian Horner and Alonso around the time of the latter's announcement.

"I have huge respect for Fernando," Horner had said. "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.

"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."

That's certainly at odds with Alonso's comments and we're also left in no doubt over what he meant in his reply to Horner's words at the time.

Alonso had taken to Twitter to respond, saying with a mountain of emojis: "Definitely one of the best things ever!!! Summer hit !!. #fromlastweekNothanks".

It's safe to say that Horner might not have been speaking from the heart with those words.

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