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Alonso suggests he is a desirable candidate to replace Lewis Hamilton as an F1 driver for Mercedes.
F1 Sport

Alonso suggests he is a desirable candidate to replace Lewis Hamilton as an F1 driver for Mercedes.

Fernando Alonso thinks he would be a desirable option to take over for Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes, but he has not had any discussions with the team.

At the age of 39, Hamilton is about to start his last season with the team that helped him win six out of his seven world championships. This comes after he surprised everyone by signing with Ferrari in 2025.

Hamilton’s exit from Mercedes will open up a spot for a new teammate for George Russell. Additionally, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen may have a seat opening up as Sergio Perez’s contract expires at the end of the year.

The contract between Alonso and Aston Martin is set to expire in 2025. It has been reported that the team is interested in re-signing the two-time world champion.

“I am cognizant of my particular circumstances,” stated Alonso, who secured consecutive world titles with Renault in 2004 and 2005. With only three current world champions on the track, I am the sole contender for 2025, putting me in a favorable position.

“There has been no movement regarding my potential move to Mercedes. While the driver market has started earlier this year, it will not impact my preparation for the upcoming season. If I decide to continue racing beyond this year, my top priority will be discussing a potential move to Aston Martin. I have confidence in this project and it will be my primary focus.”

“If we are unable to come to an agreement, I am confident that other teams will find me appealing. I am not interested in staying in Formula One simply for enjoyment. I am not that type of individual or racer. Let’s explore our options.”

In regards to Hamilton’s decision to join Ferrari, Alonso, who was also a former driver for the team from 2010 to 2014, shared, “I have to admit, it was unexpected. Not necessarily because of the switch itself, but from an outsider’s perspective, it seemed like he was deeply connected and committed to Mercedes.”

The Ferrari team is exceptional, but winning makes it even more extraordinary. Perhaps Lewis can add an extra level of competition for the championship, given that the car is performing well.

Last year, Alonso placed fourth in the drivers’ championship while driving for Aston Martin. The team went from being in the back of the pack to being at the front. Alonso achieved six podium finishes in the first eight races and could have potentially won his first race in 10 years if his team’s strategy had been better during the rainy Monaco Grand Prix.

The team from Silverstone saw a decline in performance during the latter half of the year, however Alonso remained consistent in surpassing his equipment and achieved additional podium finishes in the Netherlands and Brazil.

At the end of the year, he finished 132 points ahead of his teammate Lance Stroll, who is the son of the team’s owner Lawrence Stroll, a billionaire in the fashion industry. He was voted third by his fellow drivers, behind Max Verstappen and Hamilton, and came in second place in a poll among the team bosses on the grid.

In July, the 43-year-old Alonso will make history as the first driver to participate in 400 grand prix races. The experienced Spaniard hinted at the possibility of continuing his career well into his forties.

He expressed, “In the past, I would have said that 41 or 42 years old was the cap, but after last year, I realized that I was still driven, performing at a high level, and considering the possibility of racing for a few more years.”

“This winter, I have surpassed the expected results in my physical tests. If I have the motivation and commitment, I believe I can continue racing until I am 48, 49, or possibly even 50 years old.”

Pre-season testing will begin in Bahrain on Wednesday, one week before the first race in the same Gulf Kingdom on March 2nd.

Source: theguardian.com