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Fernando Alonso wants Red Bull apology over claims they tried to sign him

Fernando Alonso wants an apology from Red Bull after they denied his claim that they had offered him a drive with them for next season.

The 37-year-old said Red Bull offered him the seat being vacated by Daniel Ricciardo, who is joining Renault.

But two-time world champion Alonso has since said he would be leaving Formula 1 at the end of the season, with Pierre Gasly moving to Red Bull instead.

“It was not the case for me to join this adventure,” said Alonso.

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner said the team “offered Fernando a contract in the past but that was back in 2007”.

Earlier this week, Red Bull motorsport boss Helmut Marko said Alonso “doesn’t fit with us” and told Red Bull’s Servus TV station: “We were negotiating with him in 2007 or 2008. His demands were very tedious back then.

“If you look at his history, in McLaren and Ferrari, it was always a one-man show.”

However, Alonso later claimed he had offers from Red Bull six times in his career.

“I had a couple of offers from Red Bull,” Alonso told Sky F1. “In fact I had one in 2007, in 2009, in 2011, 2013, and two this year, one in Monaco, and one in August.

“The comments of Christian Horner this summer and Mr Marko are completely out of context, surprise comments about me creating chaos and being a difficult man to work with.

“One, they never worked with me, and secondly they’ve been chasing me for five or six occasions in the last seven years, and now they say that, that they are loyal to their programme and their commitments and their junior drivers.

“It has been weird, it has been unfair to me. I wrote to Christian after his comments this summer, he apologised by email, and hopefully he’ll apologise again this weekend.”

But Horner, speaking of Friday, again insisted no offer had been made to the Spaniard for 2019.

“To be totally clear, there was no offer to Fernando Alonso for next year,” said Horner.

“He is a fantastic driver and a great talent, he has chosen his path. We had an inquiry from Flavio Briatore and from Liberty Media but the position within Red Bull has always been very clear.

“We invest in youth and have a talent pool through the Red Bull junior programme and has been the case with Sebastian Vettel, (Daniil) Kvyat, (Daniel) Ricciardo, Max Verstappen, we were always going to draw on the talent we have.”

Alonso is looking at other categories of motorsport as he seeks to complete the unofficial ‘triple crown’.

This is widely regarded to be victories in the Monaco Grand Prix, the Le Mans 24 Hours and the Indy 500, although some say the F1 world title rather than Monaco. Either way, only Graham Hill has ever achieved the feat.

Alonso added victory in the Le Mans 24 Hours this year with Toyota, for whom he is leading the World Endurance Championship this season in addition to his F1 commitments with McLaren, and led 27 of the 200 laps on a one-off attempt at the Indy 500 last year before retiring in the closing stages with engine failure.

Alonso did not confirm he would race in IndyCar next year, but said: “The triple crown is something I have been saying for a couple of years now.

“To be the best driver in the world there are two possibilities: winning eight world championships – quite unlikely now for me – and the second is to taste different series and different cars.

“In sports cars I am doing OK. On the Indy 500, I felt competitive last year and there are other series that can put you in a different level in motorsport.”

Alonso said he did not expect to return to F1.

“Right now, I am thinking it is goodbye,” he said. “Life changes very quickly. I don’t have a crystal ball to know what will happen. For me, it is bye-bye, but who knows in the future?”

But he said he might have stayed in F1 had he had a winning car.

“The possibilities for next year, there have been few, or a lot – depends on how you look at it,” Alonso added. “I did not stay because there are only two teams that can win and they continue with their drivers for the following years.

“And the F1 we see now is the not the F1 I dreamed of when I was a kid or when I started in 2001.

“When you come to the same place for so many years and repeat the same thing, it is easier to be not so emotional about the challenges and that is the reason now.”

The second Ferrari seat alongside Sebastian Vettel is the only place at the top two teams that has not been announced at this stage but Alonso’s remarks seem to confirm the increasing impression in F1 that Kimi Raikkonen will be retained.

Ferrari had been planning before the sudden death of former president Sergio Marchionne last month to promote Monegasque Charles Leclerc from Sauber, but the new management is said to have had a rethink.

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