Fernando Alonso drops F1 retirement hint amid Aston Martin doubts

Fernando Alonso has been linked with replacing Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes before the 2024 F1 season has even started

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Fernando Alonso admitted he is considering retirement from Formula 1 when his current contract expires at the end of 2024, citing the demands of the record-breaking 24-race calendar as a key factor in his decision.

Alonso has been linked with joining Mercedes for 2025 to replace Lewis Hamilton but Aston Martin have also expressed a desire to keep him in racing green into the new era of F1 in 2026 – when he’ll turn 45 midway through the season.

Ahead of the 2024 season kicking off with the 2024 Bahrain Grand Prix, Alonso said he’d use the opening races to gauge whether he wants to continue racing, but stressed he is looking forward to the coming campaign and not putting too much thought into the Mercedes seat just yet.

โ€œFirst of all, I need to decide if I want to keep racing,” Alonso told the media in Bahrain. “I will need to decide that in a few races, I feel great now but itโ€™s a demanding calendar. In 2026 there are different regulations that are maybe tempting, or not. I will wait a few races to decide.โ€

Alonso provided 74 percent of Aston Martin‘s constructors’ championship points tally in 2023 and all of their eight podiums over the season too, finishing fourth in the drivers’ standings while teammate Lance Stroll only just managed a top-ten result.

However, if the team can continue their upward trajectory from 2022, Aston Martin will be an attractive landing spot for the 12 free agents currently looking for a drive in 2025 – including Alonso‘s compatriot Carlos Sainz.

Alonso cautious on Aston Martin prospects in Bahrain

The Bahrain International Circuit played host to the start of Aston Martin‘s renaissance in 2023, as Alonso picked up the first podium of a three-race streak.

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

He’d go on to score five in the next seven grand prix after the team impressed in pre-season testing, but struggled to match that competitiveness over the second half of the year.

But returning to the site of that glory 12 months later, Alonso preached caution when extrapolating opening race performance over the rest of the season.

“I think it’s quite unique here in Bahrain, especially with the asphalt and the characteristics of the race, very rear limited in terms of degradation,” Alonso added. “So I think we really need to wait a few races to set the competitive order of the teams.

“Also we did a lot of testing here, it’s the only track that we test. So between the test and the race, you can mix up the order a little bit and be confused. I wouldn’t pay too much attention to the results just on this first race if I were you.”

Adam Dickinson
Adam Dickinson
An international multi-award-winning journalist, Adam Dickinson has written for Total-Motorsport.com since June 2022 and also contributes to TNT Sports, Eurosport and the Rugby Paper. He's also had articles published in the Daily Telegraph and several local newspapers, and previously worked for Last-Lap.co.uk and FeederSeries.net in motorsport and graduated with a First-Class Journalism Degree from the University of Sheffield having also studied in Oklahoma. Adam started watching F1 by accident in 2007, catching the last race in Indianapolis, and attended his first race as a journalist at the 2023 British Grand Prix.
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