Haas Team Principal Guenther Steiner says he can't see where Lewis Hamilton would go if the Briton opts to leave Mercedes.
Hamilton's contract with Mercedes expires at the end of 2023, and despite the Briton and his team both having expressed their satisfaction with each other, a new deal is yet to be agreed.
With Mercedes having lately slipped back from their title-winning pomp of 2014 to 2021, speculation has emerged that Hamilton could leave the Silver Arrows in search of a car that would give him a better chance of securing what would be a record eighth World Championship title.
But the incumbent drivers at frontrunners Red Bull, Ferrari and Aston Martin are all under contract until at least the end of 2024, and Steiner said he doesn't see another viable option for Hamilton next year.
"Where could he go? Honestly, I don't know," Steiner told the Mail on Sunday.
"Red Bull have put everything on Max [Verstappen]. Max is their man. Why would they now change Max for Lewis?
"It would be entertaining! But when you're running a team, you don't want to entertain [the public].
"You want to entertain yourself of being World Champion. I'm not doubting Lewis' capability but I don't see it, because the other top three [teams] are not looking at Lewis."
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Steiner: Formula 1 is not Formula Mercedes!
With Red Bull having dominated 2022 and looking likely to win both titles again this year, Steiner offered a pragmatic view of Mercedes' fall from grace.
"Your team cannot always just win. Formula 1 is not Formula Mercedes! Mercedes had eight good years and nothing is forever, as we all know," he explained.
"Being surprised or not accepting that you go backwards is something I find very strange.
"You need to regroup and try again, but you cannot expect or demand to be [the best] – 'because we won it eight times now we are going to win it nine times'.
"And the same for Lewis, [who] spent eight years in the best or one of the best cars and won championships.
"You cannot always win, and also [he] lost the  Championship to teammate [Nico Rosberg] as well in that time. Your team cannot always win."
Balve Bains is joined by RacingNews365.com Editorial Director Dieter Rencken and Asia Correspondent Michael Butterworth to dissect the key talking points from the last week in F1.