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Alonso to Mercedes? 'I am the only world champion who is free'

Alonso to Mercedes? 'I am the only world champion who is free'

12 February - 08:00
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Ludo van Denderen

Many racing drivers are already happy when they reach Formula 1. Fernando Alonso will start his 21st season in F1 in a few weeks, spanning 24 years. The Spaniard revealed on the eve of the AMR24 presentation that his second year with Aston Martin could just be his last in the sport.

After Lewis Hamilton recently surprised Mercedes and the Formula 1 world with his imminent switch to Ferrari, Fernando Alonso was soon linked to the Briton's vacant seat. The Spaniard told GPblog that he has heard nothing from Mercedes: "Nothing at all. I know the driver market 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."

Alonso the only world champion on the market

Alonso says he is in a luxury position. "I'm aware of my situation, which is very unique. There are only three World Champions on the grid and fast World Champions. Because in the past, maybe there were some World Champions, but they were not so committed to being fast. I'm probably the only one available for 2025. So I have a good position."

By this, Alonso does not mean he wishes to leave Aston Martin if he wants to continue his career at all. "When I make the decision if I want to keep racing or not for the future, the first and only talk that I will have at the beginning is with Aston Martin. Because that will be my priority."

But, the Spaniard says: "On the contract, nothing more. I think it is going to be a question for the first few months of the year. But as I said, first of all, I think there are a couple of phases that I need to go through. I need to decide myself what I want to do for the future. If I want to commit my life again for a few more years to this sport, which I love, but I love driving. I've been driving all over winter, different cars: DTM car, cross car, rally car, go-kart itself. So I love Formula 1, but generally I love driving. So if it's not Formula 1, I will find myself happy in any other form of motorsport. And maybe having fun."

How long can Alonso continue?

Alonso is by far the oldest driver on the F1 grid. In a sport with many very young drivers, the question is how long someone can continue and keep performing: "Few years ago I would say that maybe 42 or 41 was the limit. Now, after I saw myself last year, motivated and performing well, I was thinking maybe that I could keep racing for a few more years. Now, this winter, I have been exceeding a little bit of expectations in terms of all the physical tests and everything that I did. So I would say that, if you are motivated and if you want to commit, you can drive. Maybe, until 48 or 49 or whatever, or even 50."

"But at the same time, you have to give up everything in life. Formula One needs total dedication. And I've been…This is my 24th season or whatever in F1. And I gave my life for 24 years to this sport, which I'm happy and I'm okay with that. I can keep doing for few more years, but I don't know if I will be racing until 50 with such a demanding calendar. I'm thinking about the abilities, but because there are other other things in life that I'm curious about," Alonso concluded.