Fernando Alonso sets deadline to decide Aston Martin future with F1 retirement on horizon

Fernando Alonso is out of contract at the end of the 2024 season and must decide whether to continue racing or retire

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Fernando Alonso has revealed he will make a decision on his Formula 1 future in the coming weeks as he faces a decision over whether to continue racing or retire from motorsport.

The 42-year-old has defied criticism about his age and finished on the podium eight times in 2023 with Aston Martin, as well as beating his team-mate Lance Stroll by 132 points in the drivers’ championship.

Alonso’s performances have not gone unnoticed, with Mercedes understood to be considering him as a possible replacement for Lewis Hamilton when he joins Ferrari in 2025.

But with 24 races on the calendar, the demands placed upon drivers are higher than ever – and Alonso has admitted he needs a moment to ponder his future, which will be decided in the coming weeks.

“I will make the decision to commit for the future in the next few weeks of races,” Alonso told the press in Saudi Arabia, when asked about his plans for the future.

“First of all, I need to speak with myself, I need to make a decision. If I personally want to commit for the future, obviously, I need to sacrifice everything else in life to be 100 per cent ready for Formula 1.”

Future up in the air

Having already opened the door to joining Mercedes, the veteran Spaniard also refused to rule out replacing Max Verstappen at Red Bull if the Dutchman makes a sensational move to the Silver Arrows – claiming he will be waiting to see what happens.

When pressed for his answer, Alonso replied: “It’s more to [ask] Max, to [ask] them [Red Bull]. And I will follow with interest the answers.”

Alonso finished ninth after qualifying sixth in the season opener in Bahrain, with Aston Martin taking home just three points. But Alonso is positive that the team will learn lessons from their mistakes last year, which saw them fall behind McLaren in the latter part of the campaign.

Fernando Alonso leads Max Verstappen at 2024 F1 pre-season testing in Bahrain | Aston Martin F1 Team
Fernando Alonso leads Max Verstappen at 2024 F1 pre-season testing in Bahrain | Aston Martin F1 Team

“I think we were a bit surprised how fast we went on Saturday and he was surprised how far we were on Sunday. In both ways in Bahrain, it would be one in the positive way and one in the negative. So we need to understand what we can do better, especially for Saturday,” the two-time world champion added.

“We were fifth fastest in Abu Dhabi [in 2023]. We remain fifth fastest in Bahrain. So more or less, we make the same progress as everyone in winter, which maybe was as expected.

“Now it’s up to us to really get the upgrades to the car in a better way than what we did last year. We learned a lot of things. Hopefully we can apply those learnings into this year.”

Joe Krishnan
Joe Krishnan is an NCTJ-qualified journalist who has worked for a number of media organisations, including the Daily Express, The Mirror, Evening Standard, The Independent and Bleacher Report. Joe has been following F1 since when he watched Mika Hakkinen clinch the 1999 drivers' championship, and his first taste of real-life racing action was watching David Coulthard spin off into the gravel at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in 2001.
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