Flavio Briatore has ruled out the possibility of Fernando Alonso joining Mercedes in 2017, saying the Spaniard will honour his contract with McLaren.
Nico Rosberg’s shock retirement from Formula 1 has vacated a highly coveted seat at Mercedes, with Alonso being considered as a replacement by team boss Toto Wolff.
"You have to consider Fernando," Wolff told Sky Sports. "He is a driver that I respect a lot.
"And he combines the talent, speed, experience, it is all there. But he is under contract with McLaren-Honda at the moment and we need to weigh all the other options up."
Despite the interest from Mercedes, Alonso’s long-term manager Briatore is convinced that the 35-year-old is not heading anywhere until his existing contract with McLaren expires at the end of next year.
"Fernando Alonso will not be in a Mercedes in 2017," Briatore told La Gazzetta dello Sport. "Granted, people always think of Fernando when a top car is free. But we have a contract and we will respect that."
A move to Mercedes will reunite Alonso with Lewis Hamilton, the pair having previously been teammates at McLaren in 2007.
by Rachit Thukral