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Lewis Hamilton says he’d like to see the McLaren team competing at the front of the field next season and hopes to battle Fernando Alonso in 2018.

Alonso has failed to secure a single podium with the McLaren-Honda team, but the outfit will ditch Honda powertrains for next season and instead use Renault-sourced power units. With a finely-tuned chassis, it's reasonable to expect McLaren to be in a much better shape next year.

“They've had such a difficult time. Given that I grew up with McLaren from 13, I go through qualifying and I always look to see where Fernando is, I always look to see where they are and am watching their progress,” Hamilton told Motorsport.

“There's just a natural place in my heart for them, because I achieved a huge amount with them. I really, really hope next year is a successful year for them, I really hope we are battling with them because McLaren deserve to be at the front. I hope with this new power unit they're there with us. I hope we have another incredible world champion up there with us fighting for the world championship,” said the four-time world champion.

As for Alonso, he is currently on a “multi-year” agreement with McLaren and intends on finishing his F1 career at the British racing outfit. Despite his limited success the last three years, many pundits still consider him one of the best drivers in the field.

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