Chinese GP

Hamilton doesn’t want Alonso as Mercedes teammate

Lewis Hamilton has given a strong sign that he doesn’t want to share a garage with Fernando Alonso.

Actually, the pair were teammates when Hamilton was a rookie and Alonso was the reigning champion in 2007, but it soon turned to acrimony.

But now, Spaniard Alonso is almost certainly on the market for 2018, and Mercedes has a vacancy thanks to Valtteri Bottas’ mere one-year deal.

When asked about the prospect of a Hamilton-Alonso pairing, however, Hamilton said in Shanghai: “It’s not going to happen.”

Before Finn Bottas, the Briton spent four awkward and acrimonious years with Nico Rosberg, and Hamilton thinks the balance at Mercedes is finally right.

“If you have got two kilos on either side, and then take the two kilos off and put four on, what is the point? You need the balance,” he said.

Mercedes inked Bottas’ one-year deal clearly to leave its options open for 2018, but boss Toto Wolff indicated the 27-year-old is doing what he needs to stay.

“Again here he is only two tenths behind Lewis, which is a strong performance given how great Hamilton’s (qualifying) lap was,” he said.

“I am also very happy about how well Lewis and Valtteri work together.”

But that good working environment could be because Hamilton is narrowly but clearly ahead of Bottas so far.

F1 legend Alain Prost thinks the Finn could push closer to the triple world champion this year.

“There are drivers who are strong in a smaller team and then weaker after changing to a big team,” he told Bild am Sonntag newspaper.

“But with Valtteri I have the impression that it could be the opposite.”

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