Thursday, 09 august 2018, 05:18 , by Matthew Scott
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner says Fernando Alonso is not under consideration to replace Daniel Ricciardo due to the "chaos" his arrival could cause. Although Carlos Sainz Jr and Pierre Gasly are understood to be in the frame, Alonso had been tentatively mentioned as a high-profile capture.
Although the two-time world champion has not won a race in over five years, his reputation as one of Formula 1's top drivers remains intact as McLaren have routinely delivered a car incapable of challenging at the front.
The Spaniard's eye has strayed to the World Endurance Championship and IndyCar as he targets the 'Triple Crown' - but McLaren CEO Zak Brown recently said that success in F1 remains the 37-year-old's priority.
Although a move to Red Bull - three-time grands prix winners in 2018 - might appeal, the team are not quite as interested.
"I've got huge respect for Fernando, he's a great driver, a fantastic driver," Horner told the official Formula 1 podcast 'Beyond the Grid'.
"But I think it'd be very difficult to see. He's tended to cause a bit of chaos wherever he's gone.
"I'm not sure it would be the healthiest thing for Fernando to join the team.
"I think our preference would be to continue to invest in youth than take a driver who is obviously close to the end of his career."
Horner confirmed that the decision would come down to a choice between Sainz and Gasly as Red Bull look to continue their tradition of promoting from within in choosing Max Verstappen's new partner.
He added: "I think we'll look at everything, but I think the preferred group will be very much to invest as has been so successful in-home talent.
"[Sebastian] Vettel, Verstappen, Ricciardo, Sainz, Gasly, they're all products that have delivered for us, they're all products of the Red Bull junior programme.
"Both of those guys [Sainz and Gasly] are very quick drivers and I think this gives us an opportunity to take a breath.
"They're under contract anyway until the end of the summer or beyond. We'll look at all the options available to us and make sure we make the right decision for the team."