Red Bull Formula 1 team principal Christian Horner has denied claims by Fernando Alonso that he was twice offered a seat with the Milton Keynes squad for 2019.

The double world champion, who will quit F1 at the end of the current campaign, told Sky Sports at the Belgian Grand Prix that Red Bull had approached him on two occasions this year to offer him the seat vacated by Renault-bound Daniel Ricciardo.

But when given the right to reply to Alonso’s claim, Horner denied an offer was ever put on the table, joking it had perhaps instead come from sister team Toro Rosso, with the Faenza outfit looking for a driver to replace Pierre Gasly, who will step up to Red Bull alongside Max Verstappen next season.

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“Maybe Franz [Tost] has made him an offer but there was no offer from Red Bull Racing this year,” Horner told Sky Sports F1. “Fernando is a great driver, he’s one of the best drivers out there.

“But he just doesn’t fit the profile of our team and the investment we have in youth and the junior team in Toro Rosso. So I think it’ll be sad for him to leave Formula 1 but there was certainly never any offer on the table from Red Bull.”

When pressed on why he felt Alonso would have made such a claim, Horner replied: “I had a couple of conversations with Flavio [Briatore, Alonso's manager] which was obviously looking around.

“There was an enquiry that came from FOM immediately following Daniel’s announcement but the situation was always very clear, Fernando just doesn’t fit in our thoughts and our future.

“But there was never any offer,” he added. “Why Fernando has chosen to say that to you I’m not quite sure. I’m not sure whom he had the offer from.”

 

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