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Fernando Alonso rejected Red Bull

5:03 pm, 23rd August 2018

The Spaniard says he turned down an offer from the former world champions following Daniel Ricciardo’s shock decision to quit for Renault.

Alonso’s interview with Sky F1 will be part of the Welcome to the Weekend Show, broadcast live on Thursday at 5pm across the Sky Sports digital platforms and on the Sky F1 channel.

Earlier this week, Red Bull named Pierre Gasly as Max Verstappen’s 2019 team-mate.

“From one of the top three teams, l already had an offer a couple of times this year,” Alonso told Sky F1’s Ted Kravitz.

Asked if he was referring to Red Bull and whether they had offered him Ricciardo’s seat, Alonso confirmed: “Yes.”

Did Alonso already hint at Red Bull offer?
Alonso’s revelation that he rejected Red Bull is seemingly at odds with the remarks of Christian Horner when the Red Bull boss ruled out Alonso replacing Ricciardo just a day after the Australian’s bombshell.

Red Bull rule out Alonso

“I have huge respect for Fernando, he is a great driver, a fantastic driver, but it’s very difficult…he’s tended to cause a bit of chaos wherever he’s gone,” Horner told F1’s official podcast.

“I’m not sure it would be the healthiest thing for the team for Fernando to join. Our preference is to continue to invest in youth than take a driver who is obviously close to the end of his career.”

But, in what appears retrospectively to have been a clear hint the Spaniard had already rebuffed an approach from Red Bull, the two-time world champion responded directly to Sky F1’s story on Twitter with the hashtag ‘FromlastweekNoThanks’

Could Alonso return to F1 in the future?
Meanwhile, Alonso has left the door open to making a return to F1 in the future – just a week after announcing he will leave the sport at the end of the year.

The two-time world champion’s departure has been billed as marking his Formula 1 retirement.

But Alonso has not ruled out returning to Formula 1, although his decision to sit out at least one season in 2019 is definitive.

“Life changes very quickly,” said Alonso in the Drivers’ Press Conference for this weekend’s Belgian GP.

“For me it is a bye bye, but who knows – things change quickly. I am leaving the door open as I don’t know what will happen in the future.”

In the announcement detailing the two-time world champion’s decision to leave F1, the McLaren driver said: “My heart is with the team forever. I know they will come back stronger and better in the future and it could be the right moment for me to be back in the series; that would make me really happy.”

Alonso to quit F1: The reaction
‘Alonso not in F1 in 2019’: How McLaren broke the news

Alonso, who last won an F1 race in 2013, has attributed his exit to a lack of “predictability” and a dearth of opportunities to win.

“I did not stay because winning now there are only two teams and they continue with their drivers for the following years,” accepted Alonso. “When you come to the same place for many years and you repeat the same thing and the same people, there is one day when you don’t get so emotional about the challenges and that’s the reason why.”

But boiled down, Alonso’s principal problem with F1 is that his McLaren team currently remain in the doldrums – the Spaniard has not finished a single race on the podium since returning to McLaren from Ferrari four years.

So would he still be an F1 driver in 2019 if he was currently driving either a Mercedes or Ferrari?

“If you are in one of those two teams, probably you keep going,” Alonso admitted. “Formula 1 has always been a sport which has [been] dominated by one or two teams.”

Could Alonso really return?
Although Alonso is to quit F1 at the conclusion of 2018, his exit from McLaren was headlined by the team as ‘Fernando Alonso will not race in Formula 1 in 2019.’

And in his statement, Alonso stressed he could consider returning to McLaren if the team improve.

“I have built so many great relationships with many fantastic people at McLaren, and they have given me the opportunity to broaden my horizons and race in other categories,” he added.

“I feel I am a more complete driver now than ever.”

Alonso is currently 37. When Michael Schumacher returned to F1 in 2010 after a four-year absence, he was 41.

Alonso hasn’t revealed yet where he will drive next year, but said when detailing his F1 departure: “Let’s see what the future brings, new exciting challenges are around the corner. I’m having one of the happiest times ever in my life but I need to go on exploring new adventures.”

F1 will be back from its summer break with the Belgian GP, live on Sky Sports F1. The race begins at 2.10pm on Sunday, August 26. Get Sky Sports F1 – the home of every race weekend LIVE in 2018.