That is the claim of Flavio Briatore, who still oversees the management of the Spaniard’s career as he seeks a potential move away from McLaren-Honda.
“Fernando must go to Mercedes or Ferrari,” he told Auto Motor und Sport.
“Renault is still a good distance from being a top team.”
Briatore said it is a tough market for a top driver in F1, especially when compared to one of Europe’s leading football players.
“There are ten attractive clubs in Europe,” he said. “Messi would have a much wider choice. In formula one you can only win with three teams.”
However, it is widely believed that Alonso will struggle to return to Mercedes or Ferrari, partly because of his reputation as a troublemaker.
“This is Ron Dennis’ fault,” Briatore insisted.
“He instigated the problem at McLaren in 2007, and Mercedes had nothing to do with it at the time.”
Former McLaren and Ferrari driver Gerhard Berger told Bild newspaper: “For every expert and fan, it is bitter to see a driver like Fernando fighting with dull weapons.
“On the other hand, Alonso left a lot of scorched earth behind him at Mercedes and Ferrari and has to take it on the chin if it doesn’t work out,” he added.