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RED Bull look set to split with engine supplier Renault at the end of next season.

Lewis Hamilton says regardless of what Fernando Alonso decides to do for 2018 he would like to see the two-time Formula 1 world champion return to the fight at the front. Absolutely. I think that would complete the story as well. I will not be around in any series to be fighting for top 10 or top 15.

"There are many options out there but F1 is my first and only priority".

The Honda has been the slowest and least reliable of Formula One's four current engines but Red Bull might have to use it in 2019, given the lack of any other option at present.

The two-time world champion's pedigree has been buried in a sub-par McLaren vehicle this year; his MCL32 has forced him to retire in eight races this season. "At the same time I want to give time to my team". After the last three years with some struggles that we went through together, to have time for them to make decisions, to see the future for next year's auto.

"Do I want to win with them?" "Before that I was always the younger one, or the same in terms of age and hype, so it was probably a little bit like [Sebastian] Vettel's position with me when I came into Red Bull".

"I've been with Red Bull for quite a few years now and the difference is when I joined Red Bull racing they were the champions, so in my mind I was getting into the best vehicle in the grid".

"I thought we would be in with a really good shot this year, but it hasn't turned out like that".

While the double announcement is expected to be seen as a major boost for the team and for the sport as a whole, former Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has questioned the wisdom of switching engine supplier.

"You just need to be patient and wait a couple of weeks", he said on Thursday. "Game of chess" Alonso a year ago skipped Monaco to race the Indy 500 but he seemed hopeful that he would contest the famous street grand prix next season.

"I know there are a few things going on at the moment", motorsport.com quoted the Frenchman, who is racing Super Formula in Japan, as saying. That will ease the decision a lot because I will be in Monaco, because I don't want to lose any points there.

"We want to win and win more next year", he said. The Triple Crown is in the background. There are many, many possibilities to do a fantastic 2018.