Just as Fernando Alonso appeared to be offering a hand of friendship towards McLaren, rookie team-mate Lewis Hamilton has stirred up the animosity in the Woking camp by telling the British press that he would rather see the Spaniard leave at the end of the year.

Alonso told reporters earlier this week that he would have no problem remaining at McLaren next season - although many have claimed that the sentiment is merely a tactic to keep the team onside in the battle for the world title - but Hamilton, having beaten his rival to pole for the Japanese Grand Prix, made it clear that the relationship between the pair remains untenable.

"I don't think we can continue as team-mates," he told the British media, "I mean, if the team wants to keep him, they keep him, but I'm here to stay as long as they want me. I don't know who else would slip in here, but I'd much rather it were Fernando in a Ferrari and me in a McLaren."

Hamilton has become increasingly outspoken since he and Alonso clashed on track at the Belgian Grand Prix and, despite many in the paddock suggesting that he may be better off keeping his mouth shut and concentrating on the title fight, the points leader has cranked up the tension within the team. Although Alonso has two years to run on his McLaren contract, the disquiet in the camp has led to speculation that he may be bound for Renault of Ferrari next season, but Hamilton has no doubt as to where his future lies.

"This season has helped reconfirm in my mind where I want to be, where I want to live out my career - and that is here," he insisted, "I'm really happy and comfortable here. So long as they want me, there's no reason to move anywhere else."

 

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