Lewis Hamilton has said he does not think he and Fernando Alonso can continue together at McLaren next year.
The idea of Alonso and Hamilton as team-mates seems untenable
The 22-year-old said he would rather the Spaniard left the team even if it meant Alonso ending up at Ferrari.
"I mean, if the team want to keep him, they keep him, but I'm here as long as they want me," said Hamilton, speaking before winning the Japanese Grand Prix.
"I don't know who else would slip in here, but I'd much rather it were Fernando at Ferrari and me at McLaren."
But the notion of Alonso moving to Ferrari has been quickly dispelled by the Italian team's manager Jean Todt.
"Zero percent," was Todt's response when asked about the chances of such a prospect.
"We have two fantastic drivers in Kimi (Raikkonen) and Felipe (Massa). We are very happy with them and they are under contract.
"I would respect a contract for a guy cleaning the floor, so you can imagine that I will respect a contract with them. If we have a contract, we respect it."
All the issues of relationships and who said what and did what is immaterial
The relationship between Hamilton and Alonso has reached an all-time low after a weekend in which the Briton has lost no opportunity to criticise the double world champion.
Hamilton, whose victory puts him 12 points clear of Alonso with only 20 still available, said on Friday that he believed the team supported him more, and that he had been forced to revise his opinion of his team-mate in the light of recent events.
Alonso's relationship with McLaren team boss Ron Dennis has broken down after a series of disagreements during the year.
It reached a low point during a row at the Hungarian Grand Prix in August over Alonso's status in the team.
Alonso threatened during the row to reveal incriminating e-mail evidence about McLaren's involvement in the spy row that has dominated the sport this summer to the sport's governing body, the FIA.
He quickly apologised and withdrew the threat, but not before Dennis had telephoned FIA president Max Mosley to tell him of the conversation.
It ultimately led to McLaren being thrown out of this year's constructors' championship and fined £49.2m for having confidential Ferrari technical information in their possession.
And Hamilton has turned up the pressure on McLaren to tear up Alonso's contract, which still has two years to run, by saying he sees a long-term future at the team.
"This season has helped reconfirm in my mind where I want to be, where I want to see out my career, and that is here," he said.
"I'm really happy and comfortable here. So long as they want me, there's no reason to move anywhere else."
Alonso said on Friday he saw no reason not to stay at McLaren next season.
But Dennis increased speculation about the 26-year-old's future when he said on Saturday that Alonso's future would be discussed at the end of the season.
"If there are any changes they will only be discussed after the last Grand Prix," the 60-year-old said.
"There is at this stage nobody engaged in any dialogue whatsoever."
Alonso said on Friday: "For next year I have a contract with this team and I don't see any problem."
Will Hamilton and Alonso be in the same cars next year?
But Dennis refused to be drawn into talk about how the situation will develop and on Hamilton's assertion that Alonso needed to show more loyalty to the team.
"I've got a clear objective at the moment and nothing will deviate away from that, which is to focus on the balance of this year's season and races and then turn our attention to next year," Dennis said.
"All the issues of relationships and who said what and did what is immaterial. I'm not going to waste any of my energy on it and nor is any other member of the team.
"We've got a competitive tension within the team and what would you expect? But that's where it ends."
Dennis described Alonso as a "remarkable recluse for a driver" at a hearing earlier this month into the recent spy saga hearing and claimed that he had not been on speaking terms with the Spaniard since the beginning of August.
Alonso said in Japan that the difficulties between him and Dennis had been exaggerated by the media, and that the two men were engaging in "small talk".