No race seat in Big Three F1 teams for Alonso

There is no place for Fernando Alonso at any of the top three Formula 1 teams for 2020 as fervent behind-the-scenes lobbying has not succeeded in placing one of the current era’s best drivers back on the grid.

Mercedes has named its candidates to be Lewis Hamilton’s teammate next year, while Helmut Marko gave a clear answer when asked about whether Alonso might end his sabbatical by joining Red Bull.

“No,” he replied without hesitation when interviewed by Movistar in Hungary.

As for Ferrari, Mattia Binotto said the team likes to operate a clearly hierarchical driver policy, “When did Ferrari win? With Michael and Eddie, with Michael and Rubens, with Kimi and Felipe. With a first driver and a second driver.”

Currently, Sebastian Vettel is the obvious number one at Maranello, but Binotto insists: “We see Charles [Leclerc] as our team leader of the future.”

“We have a strong driver duo already and I see no reason to change anything about it,” he added when asked specifically about Alonso.

There has been much speculation about Vettel’s status and future at Ferrari, but sporting boss Laurent Mekies says he still believes in the German.

“I have known Sebastian since our days at Toro Rosso,” he told Corriere della Sera. “From outside, much cannot be seen, but Sebastian remains at the centre of our project.”

Sky Italia reports that Leclerc, 21, is in talks with Ferrari about extending his contract to 2024, with considerably improved salary terms.

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