Renault not putting Alonso on its priority list for 2018

© XPB 

Renault Sport F1 boss Cyril Abiteboul isn't putting Fernando Alonso at the top of his priority list for 2018.

While the Spanish driver's remarkable performance in qualifying yesterday in Barcelona was certainly a boost to McLaren-Honda's prospects, few believe the two-time world champion will actually commit to another year with the Woking-based outfit.

With both Mercedes and Ferrari doors rumored to be closed, Alonso's only viable option would be to return to Renault as a works driver.
"I know you want to know something about Alonso and Renault," Abiteboul told the Spanish sports newspaper Marca.

"I can only say that firstly Fernando is a world champion, we understand that he knows his time is running out, but we have to see what he wants to do with his life.

"So first he has to know what he wants himself. Does he still want to continue in Formula 1? Is he still passionate about the sport?

"Communication has never been cut, there has always been a kind of loyalty, but there is no need for him to wait for our team -- he knows where we are," Abiteboul added.

The Frenchman insisted his focus was on the present, and gradually improving the team's performance which is clearly in an uptrend.

"Right now we are in full development and we want to focus on carrying out this work with the drivers we have, Jolyon and Nico," he said.

After Barcelona, Alonso will skip Monaco to do the Indy 500.

Abiteboul said: "Being at Indy instead of Monaco proves that he wants to see what's outside of F1 and find the answer if he still loves F1. It is the first question to be answered.

"There will be time to talk but I don't want to feed rumours," he insisted.

"Alonso is always a member of our family, but everyone has to make his living as well."

Win the Ultimate Trackday experience
GALLERY: All the action from Barcelona on Saturday

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter