Wolff won’t rule out signing Alonso or Verstappen for 2025

With Lewis Hamilton heading to Ferrari for the 2025, Mercedes finds themselves with big shoes to fill

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Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has not ruled out signing anyone to replace Lewis Hamilton for the 2025 Formula 1 season, including Fernando Alonso and Max Verstappen.

Hamilton stunned everyone be signing a contract to join Ferrari after 2024, which means Mercedes have a seat open alongside George Russell.

“48 hours ago, I wouldn’t have thought that Lewis would tell me that he would be driving for Ferrari next year,” Wolff told the media. “That’s why I wouldn’t rule anything out in Formula 1.

“Drivers make decisions about whether to drive for a team or not. It depends on the circumstances. And if a driver says at some point that he no longer wants to drive, then there is little remedy. That’s why I wouldn’t rule out anything, anyone, at any time.”

Despite being blindsided by Hamilton’s move to Ferrari, Wolff appears to view Hamilton’s departure as an exciting opportunity for the team.

“I’m looking forward to working with my colleagues to make the right decisions about who will be in the cockpit next year,” continued Wolff. “Maybe this is the chance to do something bold.”

Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso on the podium at the Australian GP | Peter Fox / Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Could Alonso or Verstappen really move to Mercedes?

Alonso seems to appear a more viable option for Mercedes than Verstappen, who is contracted to remain with Red Bull until the end of 2028. With the dominance of Red Bull in mind, the likelihood of Verstappen defecting to Mercedes for 2025 seems slim.

Alonso, however, is only contracted to remain with Aston Martin until the end of this season. Ties between Aston Martin and Mercedes – with the latter serving as a engine manufacturer for Aston Martin – add further credence to a possible move to Mercedes for Alonso. 

The 42-year-old has enjoyed a successful run so far with the resurgent Silverstone-based team, ending 2023 with eight podiums to his name.

Despite the success, Aston Martin aren’t yet on equal footing with Mercedes, as they finished 129 points short of the German manufacturer. It’s possible Alonso could enjoy greater success with Mercedes.

The contracts of 13 F1 drivers come to an end in 2024, providing Mercedes with an unusually wide breadth of choice.

Add into the mix Mercedes junior Kimi Antonelli, and they finds themselves with a vast pool of talent to dip into, which Wolff outlines.

“We will always strive to have the best possible combination of drivers in our car, and we will seek out each and every one of these discussions,” said Wolff.

“You can see how quickly a situation can change. At the same time, of course, we respect existing contracts.”

Jasmine Hughes
Experienced in digital content creation, Jasmine Hughes has written for a number of online publications, joining Total Motorsport in 2024. She previously served as FormulaNerds' Formula E Editor, leading coverage of the 2023 Formula E season. She has been watching Formula 1 since the age of 4, after falling in love with Fernando Alonso's blue-yellow Renault R25.
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