Fernando Alonso has admitted he still harbours a dream to race for Ferrari one day.
The Spaniard has been persistently linked with the Italian marque this year, but it is now clear that - while weighing up a big-money offer from Honda - he is likely to stay at Renault for the 2009 season.
But he told Italy's Corriere dello Sport newspaper: "I admit that one day I would very much like to be with Ferrari.
"It's the best team in the history of formula one, and it is clear that those who go with them, are part of history," the former double world champion said.
Ferrari has elected to stick with its current drivers, Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa, for the next couple of years.
Alonso said the last two grands prix, which he won, have not compensated for a difficult season, because his only goal is to "win the title or at least be able to fight for it".
But he said: "I do not consider this a lost year. I have remembered that I love formula one, and how to enjoy it."
The 27-year-old is believed to have been courted by BMW-Sauber for 2009, but Alonso denies that the deal fell through because he would not have fit in at the team.
"I have raced karts since I was three years old. In the last 24 years I have been fine with all of my teams, except for one," Alonso said, expressing frustration that his disastrous year with McLaren in 2007 tarnished his reputation.
"It was the same team that had problems with Senna, Prost, Raikkonen and Montoya. Perhaps the problem is with the team rather than with the driver," he told Germany's Stuttgarter Zeitung.