JUNE 25, 2017
Alonso management in Mercedes, Renault talks
Fernando Alonso is clearly on the move.
Throughout the Baku paddock and beyond, the McLaren-Honda driver's management has been having talks with rival F1 teams.
Flavio Briatore, who oversees the 35-year-old's career, met for dinner with Mercedes chiefs Toto Wolff and Niki Lauda.
Asked if the topic of Alonso came up over dinner, Wolff confirmed: "When you eat with Flavio, the conversation inevitably comes to Fernando Alonso!
"But we are very satisfied with our two drivers and see no reason to change. So there was no talk about a contract for Alonso."
Italian Briatore was also asked about the Mercedes meeting, and told the Spanish broadcaster Movistar: "Nothing, there is nothing.
"You always ask me about Fernando's future but now is not the time. The future at the moment is McLaren.
"What he has shown is that he is driving at the highest level, that's for sure," Briatore added.
On that claim, Alonso fully agrees.
"These new cars are tailor made for me," he said at Baku. "I think the gap to my teammate says it all.
"Stoffel Vandoorne is a great benchmark -- hasn't he won every category he ever took part in?" Alonso added.
As for the Mercedes rumours, the two-time champion answered: "I think that's quite a fantasy.
"In the summer I will look at all the options and try to make the best decision to put me in a position to win," Alonso told Italy's Sky.
One of those options could be a return to the works Renault team.
In the Renault hospitality area, Alonso's manager Luis Garcia Abad was seen in conversation with team chiefs Cyril Abiteboul and Alain Prost.
So while it has been another bad weekend for Alonso on the track, one positive story might be the behind-the-scenes moves regarding his future.
"It has been very positive for me," the Spaniard said.