Fernando Alonso takes aim at Lewis Hamilton as Mercedes rumours grow – F1 news round-up

Oliver Harden
Aston Martin driver Fernando Alonso speaks to the media at the 2023 Singapore Grand Prix.

Aston Martin driver Fernando Alonso speaks to the media at the 2023 Singapore Grand Prix.

Fernando Alonso was at the heart of Monday’s F1 news as his Aston Martin team launched their new car for the 2024 season.

But the AMR24 wasn’t the only thing on Alonso’s mind as he talked about Lewis Hamilton’s sensational move to Ferrari as well as his own future, on the day that his manager was pictured with Mercedes boss Toto Wolff.

What could they possibly have been talking about, we wonder? Strap yourselves in as we take a wild ride through the day’s big headlines…

Fernando Alonso questions Lewis Hamilton to Ferrari motive

Fernando Alonso has suggested Lewis Hamilton’s “childhood dream” to move to Ferrari was not the case 12 months ago.

Hamilton announced earlier this month that he will join Ferrari at the end of the 2024 season after two winless seasons at Mercedes in 2022/23.

Alonso, said to be among the contenders to succeed Hamilton, has hinted that his former team-mate’s views on Ferrari are directly linked to Mercedes’ underachievement over recent years.

Read more: Fernando Alonso doubts Lewis Hamilton Ferrari move motive: ‘Not his childhood dream 12 months ago’

Fernando Alonso reveals F1 2025 priority with future to be decided

Alonso is keeping his options open as he heads into the 2024 season, maintaining that his “priority” as things stand is to stay with Aston Martin for 2025.

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’ in full swing much earlier than usual.

Read more: Fernando Alonso quizzed on F1 future as he remains ‘attractive to other teams’

Fernando Alonso’s manager spotted with Toto Wolff

Rumours of a Mercedes move for Alonso have gone into overdrive, however, after his manager and long-term friend Flavio Briatore posted a picture of himself meeting with Mercedes boss Toto Wolff on Monday morning.

Just hours after Aston Martin unveiled the new AMR24 car at Silverstone, Briatore – who oversaw Alonso’s title triumphs in 2005/06 as the team principal of Renault – uploaded an image of himself having breakfast with Wolff in Monaco.

It couldn’t happen. Could it?

Read more: Fernando Alonso to Mercedes rumours in overdrive as manager meets with Toto Wolff

Aston Martin detail Fernando Alonso contract plans

Aston Martin team principal Mike Krack has revealed his intention to offer Alonso a new contract as those rumours of a move to Mercedes persist.

Alonso excelled in his first season with Aston Martin in 2023, registering six podium finishes in the opening eight races before adding two more after the summer break at Zandvoort and Interlagos.

Having revealed at the 2023 season finale in Abu Dhabi that the team “absolutely” intend to extend Alonso’s contract after being “blown away” by the 42-year-old’s first season in green, Krack says Aston Martin will seek a new deal in order to ward off potential interest from elsewhere.

Read more: Fernando Alonso: Aston Martin detail contract offer plans as Mercedes rumours spin

Aston Martin open up on Red Bull inspiration

Aston Martin have admitted it is “inevitable” teams will take inspiration from Red Bull’s design for 2024 as they launched the AMR24.

The Silverstone outfit have faced accusations of copying in the past when they unveiled a similar-looking car to Red Bull’s at the 2022 Spanish Grand Prix, with the team also racing the so-called ‘Pink Mercedes’ in 2020.

Technical director Dan Fallows, formerly of Red Bull, has admitted it is “inevitable” that other teams will try to emulate the 2023 Constructors’ Champions in an effort to close the gap.

Read more: Aston Martin admit ‘inevitable’ Red Bull inspiration as they launch AMR24