Damon Hill reveals wild Fernando Alonso solution to end Charles Leclerc’s nightmare

Jamie Woodhouse
Fernando Alonso and Charles Leclerc graphic.

Fernando Alonso and Charles Leclerc graphic.

1996 F1 World Champion Damon Hill feels Charles Leclerc has no escape from Ferrari, unless Aston Martin buy Fernando Alonso out of his contract to free up a seat.

While earlier in the season it was the Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes partnership which people were looking at and picking out signs of tension, now it is Leclerc seemingly growing increasingly frustrated with Ferrari’s latest struggles to mount the title challenge craved.

Leclerc went as far as to publicly criticise Ferrari after they missed the Q2 dry-tyre window in Canada, sealing his elimination, an outburst which team boss Fred Vasseur said Leclerc has since apologised for when the matter was discussed internally.

Damon Hill suggests Fernando Alonso holds the only key

Nonetheless, with Leclerc out of contract with Ferrari come the end of 2024, his future with the team is looking increasingly uncertain.

Escape routes though are at a premium if Leclerc wished to leave Ferrari and jump into a title-contending challenger, with Hamilton’s impending new Mercedes contract waiting to shut the door there, while it is highly unlikely that Red Bull would consider axing Sergio Perez to put Leclerc alongside Max Verstappen.

Hill then made the interesting suggestion that Aston Martin could pay off their two-time World Champion Alonso, who joined the team this year and has featured on six of the eight podiums so far, to make room for Leclerc.

“What options are there [for Leclerc]? There aren’t any,” Hill told Express Sport on the subject of Leclerc’s future potentially being away from Ferrari.

“I suppose he could look at Aston Martin but I think Fernando’s got a two-year contract with them anyway. I think he’d probably step aside if they paid him enough money, but I don’t think he wants to give up a competitive drive.”

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How about Fernando Alonso and Charles Leclerc at Aston Martin?

It is extremely unlikely that Aston Martin would even consider trying to force Alonso out of the door prematurely. After all, he remains on peak form and is spearheading the team’s pursuit of P2 in the Constructors’ Championship after their surge up the grid out of the midfield.

Having been runner-up to Max Verstappen in the dominant Red Bull RB19 twice already, Alonso now has his sights set on Sergio Perez in the other RB19, only nine points up the road in the Drivers’ standings.

Sure, Alonso is now 41, but age is seemingly irrelevant to the two-time champ and if anyone were to make way for Leclerc at Aston Martin, it should be Lance Stroll.

Leclerc for Alonso arguably would not represent an upgrade for Aston Martin, as Leclerc is yet to truly prove that he can perform week in, week out carrying the weight of expectancy for his team at the front of the grid like Alonso can.

But, Leclerc has that raw pace just waiting to be transformed into a consistent all-round package that could make him World Champion, and right now Stroll is doing little to suggest he has the same potential.

If Leclerc was in that Aston Martin AMR23 now, it would be far from unrealistic to imagine Leclerc challenging Alonso for the podium finishes, or even joining the veteran in the top three, while Stroll has finished no higher than P4, once, all season.

Scoring only 37 points so far to Alonso’s 117, Aston Martin really should not be P3 and behind Mercedes in the Constructors’ standings right now, and if the team are to become consistent title challengers in the coming years like team owner Lawrence Stroll is demanding, then he may need to starting questioning whether his son is up to the task.

An Alonso-Leclerc pairing at Aston Martin, now that would make the likes of Red Bull, Mercedes and of course Ferrari sit up and take notice.