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Alonso cannot come to Mercedes – Lauda

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Fernando Alonso’s comments come amid intense speculation he is targeting a seat at Mercedes or Ferrari for 2018, but he said his future is not a topic “until September”.

A move to Mercedes seems unlikely, anyway.

Mercedes Team chairman Niki Lauda told Sport Bild: “Alonso cannot come to us. Lewis (Hamilton) has a contract.

“Valtteri (Bottas) brings a great performance too, both harmonise well. There is simply no space with us.”

The Spaniard has played down expectations about Honda’s ‘new Spec 3’ engine ahead of the Austrian grand prix this weekend.

Amid strong rumours about a McLaren-Honda divorce, the struggling Japanese manufacturer tested the ‘spec 3’ unit in Baku and both drivers will race it in Spielberg.

“I am looking forward to seeing our performance,” said Honda F1 boss Yusuke Hasegawa.

But Spaniard Alonso is not optimistic.

At an FIA event in Vienna last Thursday, he is quoted by EFE news agency: “I think the engine is good for the team to do a press release, but it is practically the same.

“Any upgrade is welcome, but there is no change with the new engine. We already tried it in Baku practice, but we were last and second to last,” Alonso added.

So asked what is expecting from the ‘spec 3’ Honda in Austria, he answered bluntly: “Nothing.”

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