Fernando Alonso made Aston Martin decision ‘with gun to his head’ amid Mercedes offer – report

Oliver Harden
A close-up shot of Fernando Alonso and the logos of Aston Martin and Mercedes alongside him

Did Fernando Alonso receive an offer from Mercedes before being pushed into signing a new Aston Martin deal?

Fernando Alonso’s new Aston Martin contract was reportedly signed with a “gun to his head” amid an F1 2025 offer from Mercedes, with the availability of Carlos Sainz forcing him to reach a quick decision.

Alonso announced last week that he will remain in F1 until at least the end of the 2026 season, having signed a new multi-year contract with Aston Martin.

Was Fernando Alonso pressured into signing new Aston Martin F1 contract?

The Spaniard’s new deal will take him past his 45th birthday and will see him reunited with Honda, who will arrive from Red Bull as Aston Martin’s new engine supplier in time for F1’s new regulations in 2026.

The timing of Alonso’s contract extension came as a surprise after the former Renault, McLaren and Ferrari driver was heavily linked with potential vacancies at Red Bull and Mercedes.

Prior to the signing of his new deal, reports claimed Alonso was “pushing very hard” to secure a seat at Red Bull for 2025 amid the uncertainty surrounding the future of Max Verstappen.

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Alonso had also been believed to be in contention to join Mercedes for 2025 as a replacement for Lewis Hamilton, who announced in February that he will join Ferrari on a multi-year deal at the end of this season.

Alonso – who had insisted throughout the process that Aston Martin was his “first priority” in any negotiations – told media including PlanetF1.com in the aftermath of the contract announcement that team and driver “both wanted the same” for 2025, with Alonso feeling “at home” since arriving at the Silverstone-based outfit in 2023.

However, a report by German publication Auto Motor und Sport has revealed that Alonso’s decision to stay “was not entirely of his own free will” – with the availability of Sainz, dropped by Ferrari to make way for Hamilton, forcing him to act quickly.

And Alonso’s decision to stay came despite Mercedes’ offer of a one-plus-one-year contract if the team proved unable to persuade Verstappen to join from Red Bull.

With Sainz’s stock at an all-time high following his best-ever start to a season, which saw him collect his third career victory at last month’s Australian Grand Prix, Alonso was reportedly wary that the outgoing Ferrari driver could emerge as an option for Aston Martin.

Sainz’s availability, AMuS claim, allowed Aston Martin to “put a gun to their star driver’s head” with the risk of waiting for a potential opening at Red Bull or Aston Martin “too great” for Alonso to take.

Mercedes’ offer of a one-year contract with the option for a further season was deemed “not very attractive” to Alonso as the option to extend would have been on the team’s side, potentially allowing them to try again to sign Verstappen for 2026 or promote 17-year-old Italian sensation Andrea Kimi Antonelli.

If Alonso was going to join Mercedes, he was “determined” to ensure that he remained with the team for F1’s new regulations in 2026, which are expected to shake up the competitive order.

According to AMuS, Alonso’s decision to take himself off the market by committing to Aston Martin has left Verstappen “in a corner” when it comes to his own F1 future.

With Mercedes still awaiting a first podium finish of 2024, the prospect of replacing Hamilton in 2025 is not deemed attractive to Verstappen.

However, any commitment to Red Bull beyond this season is said to risk triggering a bold Christian Horner power grab amid the current tensions within the team.

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