We are talking about where he might be in Australia 2018 and not 2017 right?. I dunno why I keep reading the top teams have drivers already there. It's not that people who think in certain situations Mercedes and Ferrari would talk to Alonso don't understand that it's not likely under today's situation and if the decision had to be made in the next 30 seconds, they're merely pointing out that when these decisions will be made the landscape for all or some parties could be very different and under those different situations an approach to Alonso isn't as wildly impossible as some are making out.
For example, if Bottas tanks badly and costs Mercedes the WCC to Red Bull what do you think would happen in the drivers market?. He gets rewarded with an extension?. One of the Red Bull pair suddenly break contract or Red Bull generously break up the strongest pairing on the grid willingly and give one to their arch rival Mercedes?.
How are these situations more likely than talking too/hiring one of the best drivers on the grid-Seb or Alonso-who happen to be out of contract?.
The arrogance in thinking there is literally no circumstances under the sun that could occur during a season we haven't even started yet that could result in an offer from Mercedes or Ferrari to Alonso who is out of contract at years end, as are 3 of the 4 drivers in those teams, is mind blowing.
And it's got nothing to do with over inflating his standing for me anyway, I think Mercedes and Ferrari would both rather have Seb, as would I as it happens, it just seems so blatantly obvious to me in those certain situations Alonso becomes a legit option.
It's what we want as fans but it just isn't likely. Like I said, it's certainly possible but only in the event that either Hamilton or Vettel leave their team. It's best not to get your hopes up for these exciting teammate battles because most teams try to avoid them nowadays.
Also, you seem to think that the contracts that Dan and Max are under would prevent them from going elsewhere. How did Bottas's contract hold up when Mercedes wanted him? There's a way out of any contract in F1 and if both parties want to make it happen, it will happen. I believe one of them will take any vacancy at Merc or Ferrari and not Alonso. Of course I may be wrong and you may be right but that's just the way I see it. If Red Bull bends over backwards to retain them, I think a young driver like Sainz or perhaps an underrated veteran like Perez might get the shot. My feeling is that Ferrari and Mercedes are not really looking at Alonso. And no, it has nothing to do with how good he is as a driver.
You understand I'm not going by what I want to happen right?. In fact I'm specifically trying to avoid letting personal bias enter it by simply covering different scenario's and what I would think would happen in each logically. I personally would much prefer he stayed at McLaren with Stoff and McLaren pulled their finger out as I'd prefer a 2010/12 scenario next year but with 4 teams.
The difference there is the team they're dealing with would be Red Bull and not Williams. I don't know what the specifics of their contracts are obviously but if they have releases based on where they finish and they can get out of their contracts I'd actually agree they'd be more likely to get the gig. But in that scenario it would mean things went well at both Mercedes and Ferrari if RB were 3rd so I'd imagine Seb would extend anyway and Bottas would have delivered, but could still be replaced by whatever Bull driver got themselves out of their deal of course.
But that isn't the scenario I put forward. Ferrari or Bottas being the ones to fail miserably mean all is rosy at RB both contract wise and result wise and that's what opens the door to talks with Alonso imo. Either by Mercedes moving for Seb which opens Ferrari or if Seb extends then with Alonso as the next best available alternative for Mercedes to acquire a driver line up as strong as Red Bull with the added bonus of covering themselves if for whatever reason Lewis doesn't extend the following year.
I think they'd talk to the winner of Perez/Ocon and Sainz too for what it's worth and thinking about it if Ocon pulls off the win against Perez I think that would be very tempting for Mercedes but it's a second gamble in a row going in to a year Lewis is out of contract but with now the other top drivers all tied up and that would be very risky.
But we're about 5 months early for all this anyway, it's essentially silly season talk so I'll drop it. For all I know things could turn poison at RB and they'd be happy to pack one off to a rival by that stage in which case I'd agree with you about one of them being a better option anyway or Stoff could batter Alonso this year and jump to the front of everyone's wish list.