Fernando Alonso says he has no relationship with Mercedes; His priority is to continue working at Aston Martin.
Pilot Aston Martin in Formula 1, Fernando Alonsoclaims that he had no contact with Mercedes after the news that Lewis Hamilton he will leave the team at the end of the year to compete for Ferrari.
Like the rest of the racing world, Alonso said he was surprised by the timing of Hamilton’s decision to leave Mercedes midway through a two-year contract and after 12 years of racing for the team.
“It was probably a surprise, I won’t lie,” said Alonso, who drove for Ferrari between 2010 and 2014. “But not because of the change itself, but simply because from the outside it seemed that he was very involved with Mercedes and very loyal to them and all that. It was a little unexpected.”
He added: “I think it wasn’t your childhood dream 12 months ago or two months ago because it was a different dream.
“I hope you enjoy this experience. I think this is a special team, but it becomes even more special when you win. That’s the thing, you need to win, and for a few years now they’ve had a very fast car and they’ve been fighting for big things and so on. Perhaps Lewis can make an additional contribution to the fight for the championship.”
Within 24 hours of the news, Alonso, whose contract with Aston Martin expires at the end of 2024, was named by Mercedes as a possible replacement for Hamilton.
Alonso, 42, said he had not had any contact with Mercedes and stressed he would first talk to Aston Martin about a contract extension before signing a deal with the rival team for 2025.
“As far as Mercedes is concerned, nothing happened at all,” he said. “I know the driver market this year didn’t start until June or July, which is normal, but that won’t affect me in any way in terms of being well prepared for the season.
“We have very limited pre-season testing in Bahrain and because it’s so limited I can’t think too much about the future right now. I’ll have to wait a few races.”
“I recognize my situation, which is very unique. There are only three world champions on the grid (Alonso, Hamilton and Max Verstappen), and they are fast world champions, because in the past there may have been some world champions who were not so interested in speed.
“I’m probably the only champion available for 2025, so I’m in a good position. At the same time, when I make a decision whether I want to continue competing or not in the future, the first and only conversation is that I have an Aston Martin in the beginning because that will be my only priority.”
As the oldest driver on the grid, Alonso said he had not yet decided whether to continue racing beyond the end of this season.
“I think there are several stages that I will have to go through. First of all, I have to decide for myself what I want to do in the future. If I want to devote my life, again, for a few more years to this sport, I adore it. But I love driving, all winter I drove different cars: DTM, cross-country, rally, karting… So I love Formula 1, and in general I love driving. So if it’s not Formula 1, I’ll be happy in any other motorsport and, perhaps, I’ll have more time for my personal life, which is also very important at this age.
“But you know, this is a decision I have to make myself. I need to think about it and at the end of the day I need to dedicate myself to the team and make sure I understand that the next few years of my life are going to be about this team and dedicating 100% of my time.” “Once I make that decision, I want to sit down with Aston Martin and say, ‘Okay, I’ve made this decision and I’d like to continue with this project.’
“Because I think we took a good step forward last year, we built a lot of things together. We have this new facility here, we have everything we need to be successful in the future and I am confident in this project. So this will be my project. my first priority when I say I want to talk to Aston Martin first is because I feel part of this project.
“But if we can’t reach an agreement and I want to compete in Formula 1, I know I’m in a privileged position. It will probably be attractive to other teams, the performance they saw last year, the commitment. I said there are only three world champions on the grid and only one is available.