Fernando Alonso has cautioned that there is no guarantee that he will stay with Alpine in 2023, despite paddock rumours suggesting that a deal is a foregone conclusion.
Since returning to F1 with Alpine in 2021 after a two-year hiatus from the sport, Alonso has largely impressed, outscoring teammate Esteban Ocon last year, and showing his racecraft with daring overtaking moves in the opening stages of several Grands Prix.
But despite an apparent willingness from both driver and team to extend their partnership beyond 2022, Alonso appears to be taking nothing for granted.
"It's never a guarantee that you will stay," Alonso told media, including RacingNews365.com.
"We have to agree on something, I think, over the break [in August]. In the next weeks or whenever, I will sit down with the team and see what are their expectations.
"Also, what is the next step on the project, as well?
"I feel happy, I feel at home in Alpine, but there is no guarantee of anything, for sure."
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Alonso calls on Alpine to balance developmental resources
Though fifth-placed Alpine are currently level on points with McLaren in fourth spot, both teams are a long way behind third-placed Mercedes, and Alonso doubts whether Alpine would have the resources to close the gap on the Silver Arrows, who themselves have edged closer to Ferrari and Red Bull in recent races.
"I don't think it's going to be that easy for us [to catch Mercedes]," said Alonso.
"They have a huge organisation, and we knew that they would come back sooner or later.
"For us, it's a more medium/long-term programme. It's a matter of starting next year's car soon enough that we don't compromise the next project.
"The big teams can start next year's car, and at the same time keep improving this year's car.
"For other teams, this is more of a challenge."
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