Fernando Alonso opens door to Mercedes switch with one clear demand to replace Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton will join Ferrari for the 2025 season with Fernando Alonso also out of contract with Aston Martin

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Fernando Alonso has refused to rule out a possible switch to Mercedes for the Formula 1 2025 season to replace his former rival Lewis Hamilton, but the veteran racer has made it clear to Toto Wolff the team must prove they are capable of winning races again.

The Spaniard has already raced with four other teams on the grid – Alpine (formerly Renault), Ferrari, McLaren and now Aston Martin – but is yet to get behind the wheel of a Mercedes in his 23-year career in motorsport.

With Hamilton heading to Ferrari from next year, he may get his chance. The Silver Arrows have begun the search to replace the seven-time world champion with a long list of potential candidates and Alonso, as one of only two other world champions on the grid, is certainly be part of the conversation.

Carlos Sainz, Pierre Gasly, Esteban Ocon and 17-year-old sensation Andrea Kimi Antonelli have also been linked. But the 42-year-old, who has previously stated his happiness with being part of the Aston Martin setup, wants to get some reassurances first that if he is to change teams again, he will be in contention to win races.

Fernando Alonso at 2023 Abu Dhabi GP | Aston Martin F1 Team

“If I’m just thinking of renewing a contract and just being a Formula 1 driver to travel around the world, to feel cool… you know I’m not that type of person,” Alonso said to the press in Saudi Arabia.

“If I commit to this [another contract], it’s because I truly believe that there is a possibility of winning races. I want to be in the simulator, I want to be with engineers, I want to ask 100 per cent from the organisation that I know for sure that they will give that 100 per cent. If not, I will not commit.”

Weighing up options

Alonso has not been victorious in the sport since the 2013 Spanish GP. He did, however, finish on the podium eight times in 2023 and came close to ending his long wait for the elusive 33rd race victory after finishing as runner-up in Monaco, Canada and Belgium.

But it appears Aston Martin have taken a step back in comparison to their impressive start to last season, where they were genuinely the second-fastest car on the grid and challenging Red Bull. Now, the team may have to settle for slotting in behind Ferrari, Mercedes and McLaren, which could push him towards Mercedes if they are more competitive.

That was evident from the Bahrain Grand Prix, where Alonso qualified sixth but fell back through the field and finished ninth ahead of his team-mate Lance Stroll.

In any case, Alonso has made it clear he will seriously consider whether he wants to continue in F1 in the coming weeks – but admits he is in a better position with the luxury of picking his next move.

“I don’t have any contract at the moment,” Alonso added. “It’s better to be on those lists [Mercedes and Red Bull] than in the others or retirement. But I will make the decision to commit for the future in the next few weeks of races.”

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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