Fernando Alonso has given a clear indication that he is not chasing a move to Mercedes for the 2017 Formula 1 season after insisting he remains committed to returning McLaren to title glory.
The Spaniard was initially identified as a potential candidate to replace newly-retired F1 champion Nico Rosberg in the three-time title winning team, even though he remains contracted to McLaren-Honda until the end of the 2017 F1 season.
However, with his manager Flavio Briatore flatly dismissing the notion of a shock switch last week, Alonso has seemingly confirmed that he is pledging his future to McLaren in his quest to win another F1 title for both himself and the team.
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“I believe in this project, I'm committed and I want to be world champion with McLaren-Honda,” read a tweet issued by McLaren-Honda following a visit to the McLaren Technology Centre by Alonso. “That's my only goal,” he added.
Despite anticipation sparked when Toto Wolff singled Alonso out as a potential option for Mercedes in 2017, the likelihood of a move was dwindling even before these comments.
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As it stands, Mercedes appears to have whittled its candidates down to Valtteri Bottas, Pascal Wehrlein and potentially Carlos Sainz. Bottas is the preferred option, but Mercedes faces a task prising him from his Williams contract and has reportedly already had one approach turned down.
Sainz remains an outside bet partly because Red Bull would be willing to release him potentially, while Wehrlein's relative lack of experience in a top team appears to be ruling him out regardless. If he isn't promoted to Mercedes, Wehrlein is likely to be placed at Sauber.
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