Alonso to Renault confirmed! - Mercedes have fun with snap of Spaniard

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Mercedes appeared to have cleared up the uncertainty over Fernando Alonso's Formula One future on Sunday - but it was all just part of a hilarious Twitter joke at the McLaren driver's expense.

Ahead of the Italian Grand Prix, Mercedes quoted a tweet from Renault showing the Spaniard sat astride the back of a classic Renault car on the Monza circuit.

Mercedes cheekily suggested that Alonso's return to the Enstone-based manufacturer for a third spell had been confirmed.

But the 36-year-old, who won his two world championship titles in his first stint with Renault, is in fact unlikely to be going back.

Renault team boss Cyril Abiteboul conceded last month that Alonso's return was not on the cards, as they could not guarantee a competitive car for him - the same issue that has dogged him at McLaren.

Alonso's annoyance boiled over at the Belgian Grand Prix last Sunday as he retired for the fifth time this season.

During the race Alonso snapped at his team over the radio after receiving time-gap updates he felt were unimportant, and went on to describe his car's lack of speed as "embarrassing, really embarrassing".