Alonso still to decide on future

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Although Red Bull joining Toro Rosso with Honda power in 2019 has been an obvious option, should the Japanese engine show sufficient improvement next season, it now appears that the Milton Keynes team's hand has been forced. For Renault's participation in the increasingly complicated dealings it wanted Carlos Sainz, who the team has long wanted in one of its cars, to be on the table. Formula One is my first and only priority so I will wait to make a decision on that before making decisions on other series.

"I've got seven races to do", he said.

Alonso, like Chris Amon in a previous era, has traditionally made poor decisions when changing teams - even if, at the time, there seemed good reasons for them.

"But I can't see why McLaren will be any happier with Renault than they are with Honda".

DANIEL Ricciardo has long proved he is one of the standout drivers in the Formula 1 paddock, as was highlighted by his showing during the Italian Grand Prix two weekends ago when he went from 16th on the grid to a fourth-place finish. With only 21 points separating them and fifth placed Williams, having a driver of Sainz's capabilities alongside Nico H├╝lkenberg makes the deal a no-brainier for the Enstone team.

After missing the Monaco Grand Prix to race in the Indy 500 this season, Alonso also hinted that he was looking at the potential to compete at Le Mans next year, with Honda's departure opening up the possibility of racing for Toyota in the 24-hour race.

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"For my fans and motorsport lovers they will have a fantastic 2018 season".

The news shouldn't come as a major shock as only last month Ricciardo, tongue planted firmly in cheek, joked to Red Bull co-owner Dietrich Mateschitz: "Unless you pay me $10 million, I'm leaving".

As F1 waits on confirmation in Singapore that McLaren are ending their torrid Honda partnership, Hamilton says F1 will be the victor if Alonso, who is expected to stay on at Woking, has a more competitive car-engine package next season. "Whatever path there is, I will take the shortest path".

Jolyon Palmer is one of only three drivers yet to score a point in 2017, but he remains optimistic he will not be replaced for the final six races of the season.

The Spaniard is expected to extend his three-year stay at the team, but he was giving little away on Thursday.

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