Fernando Alonso is keeping his options open as he heads into the F1 2024 season, maintaining that his “priority” if he wishes to continue beyond the end of the year would be to stay with Aston Martin.
The two-time World Champion is heading into the final year of his current deal with the Silverstone-based team and he admitted he is “probably attractive to other teams” too, given he is the only World Champion uncontracted beyond the end of the season.
This, Alonso acknowledged, puts him in “a good position” heading into the 2024 campaign, with this year’s ‘silly season’ already in full swing much earlier than usual.
Fernando Alonso to take his time before deciding upon F1 future
Aston Martin team principal Mike Krack made it clear before last season ended that he wants to continue working with the Spaniard beyond the end of this year, but Alonso himself is seemingly going to decide his future on his own terms.
While he has shown on multiple occasions his age is no barrier to his performance, Alonso said he is going to assess whether or not he wants to continue in Formula 1 beyond this season or try out other forms of motorsport.
But if he does continue, his first port of call would be an Aston Martin seat, despite admitting he has a “privileged position” in the paddock as it stands.
“First of all, 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,” Alonso told media including PlanetF1.com at the launch of the AMR24.
“But I love driving. I’ve been driving all over winter, different cars, DTM car, kart cross, rally car, go kart itself, you know. 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 more time for my private life, which is also very important at this age.
“But this is a decision that I need to do with myself. I need to think, and I need to commit to a team, eventually, and make sure that I understand that the next few years of my life, it will be that team and 100 per cent of my time.
“Once I do that decision I want to sit with Aston Martin and say, ‘OK, I make this decision, and I would love to continue with this project.’
“Because I think we did a good step forward in the last year, we built a lot of things together, we have this new facility here, we have everything to succeed for the future, and I trust this project.
“So that will be my first priority when I say that I want to speak first with Aston Martin, because I feel part of this project very much.
“But if we cannot reach an agreement, and I want to commit to race in Formula 1, I know that I have a privileged position.
The most competitive available seat for 2025, based on last year’s performance, would be at Mercedes, as Lewis Hamilton is set to depart for Ferrari.
Naturally, he was asked if Toto Wolff had been in contact with him over a drive next year – but the two-time World Champion said there has been no contact from them.
“On the Mercedes theme, no, nothing at all,” he said. “I know the driver market has 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 for the season.
“We have very limited testing in Bahrain. I cannot think too much about the future right now. I will have to see and wait a few races. 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, they were not so committed to being fast.
“I’m probably the only one available for ’25. So I am in a good position. But at the same time, when I make the decision [on] if I want to keep racing on for the future, the first and only talk that I will have at the beginning is with Aston Martin, because that will be my only one priority.”