Seasoned racer Fernando Alonso, representing Aston Martin, staunchly denies any communication with Mercedes amid the uproar caused by Lewis Hamilton‘s impending departure from the team. Hamilton, at the conclusion of this year, will be trading his Mercedes affiliation for Ferrari‘s.
Like many in the race car world, Alonso was taken aback by the timing of Hamilton’s choice to abandon Mercedes mid-contract. Hamilton has ruled the race track for the team for an extensive period of 12 years. Alonso, who himself had a stint with Ferrari from 2010 through 2014, admitted, “Probably it was a surprise, I will not lie. Not because of the change itself, it was just because from the outside, it seemed like he was very linked with Mercedes and very loyal to them and things like that. It was a little bit unexpected.”
Rumors linking Alonso to Mercedes as a probable replacement for Hamilton started circulating merely a day after the news broke. Alonso’s contract with Aston Martin is slated to end in 2024. Well into his 40s, Alonso denies any contact with Mercedes. He reassured that any future talks regarding a new contract would first happen with Aston Martin before considering a rival team for 2025.
He elaborated, “On the Mercedes thing, there has been nothing at all. I know the driver market has started earlier this year than probably June or July, which is the normal timing, but this will not affect me at all in terms of preparing the season good enough. We have a very limited pre-season testing in Bahrain, and because it’s so limited, I cannot think too much about the future right now. I will have to wait a few races.”
Recognizing his unique position Alonso continued, “I’m aware of my situation, which is very unique. There are only three world champions on the grid [Alonso, Hamilton and Max Verstappen], and they are fast world champions, because in the past maybe there were some world champions who were not so committed to being fast. I’m probably the only champion available for ’25, so I have a good position. At the same time, when I make the decision if I want to keep racing or not for the future, first and the only talk that I will have at the beginning is with Aston Martin, because this will be my only one priority.”
As the oldest driver currently, Alonso, however, refrains from providing a clear answer about his future beyond this season. His determination to continue racing or not is contingent on his personal commitment to the sport and his love for driving.
‘If it’s not Formula One, I will find myself happy in any other form of motorsport, and maybe having more time for my private life, which is also very important at this age,” he said. Yet, he holds Aston Martin as his first choice, asserting trust in the project while suggesting he could be attractive to other teams if an agreement isn’t reached. Alonso says, “I’m probably attractive to other teams, the performance that they saw last year, the commitment. And as I said, there are only three world champions on the grid, and there is only one available.”