MERC'S DRIVING ACE: Niki Lauda insists that talks with Lewis Hamilton will result in his contract being extended beyond 2015 - so bye-bye Alonso. Image: AP / Luca Bruno
LONDON, England - Mercedes chairman Niki Lauda has played down the chances of Fernando Alonso joining the Mercedes Formula 1 team in 2016.
Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff caused a stir when he said Alonso, who joined McLaren-Honda for 2015, was at the top of the shortlist to replace Hamilton's should negotiations to extend the latter's contract beyond 2015 ultimately fail.
'WE'RE IN NO HURRY'
Lauda, who was instrumental in luring Hamiltonfrom McLaren at the end of the 2012 season, now insists the talks with the team's 2014 championship-winning driver will result in a new contract.
Lauda was quoted by the SID news agency: "I'm not worried. Both sides want to renew, so it will happen. We are in no hurry."