Fernando Alonso will not go to Mercedes, says manager Flavio Briatore
Fernando Alonso will not be driving a Mercedes in 2017, according to manager Flavio Briatore.
Alonso has become a fan favourite for the seat vacated by Nico Rosberg following the German's shock retirement from Formula One as world champion. The Spaniard is set to enter the final year of his contract at McLaren, though Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has said Alonso is under consideration for the drive.
Alonso lobbied for a Mercedes seat at 2014 while he was still a Ferrari driver but the team ultimately decided to retain Rosberg. The two-time world champion did eventually leave Ferrari for McLaren ahead of the 2015 season, signing for three years.
Long-serving manager Briatore says there is no chance Alonso will leave before the expiry of his contract in 2017.
"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."
Though Alonso is widely considered the most complete driver on the grid, Mercedes may be wary of moving for the Spaniard. He was paired with Hamilton during the Englishman's rookie season at McLaren in 2007 but the pair fell out and Alonso left at the end of the campaign.
Team boss Toto Wolff has refused to rule Alonso out of consideration, saying "he combines talent, speed and experience".