Lewis Hamilton’s confirmed move to Ferrari comes ahead of a final season with Mercedes, an experience Fernando Alonso has had in the past.
Hamilton’s sensational switch to Ferrari for 2025 comes with the seven-time F1 World Champion still having to put in a year’s racing with Mercedes – leading to potential awkwardness as the relationship understandably cools off before the switch.
It’s an experience Fernando Alonso is all too familiar with, having been announced as a McLaren driver for 2007 before his then-final year with Renault as a defending World Champion in 2006.
How Renault treated Fernando Alonso differently in 2006
With Renault and Alonso fighting for the championship, which the Spaniard did achieve by season end, the Spaniard revealed how he felt the atmosphere towards him shifting as the season went on before his departure.
“For me, it was not a big difference,” he told media, including PlanetF1.com, when asked about whether Hamilton might experience similar to Alonso at Renault in 2006.
“[In] 2006 I started the season very okay with the team, very relaxed with a very good atmosphere.
“For me, it didn’t change much – it did change maybe for the team a little bit because, halfway through the season, they were just testing things or programming things for the following year.
“I was not involved in those things because they kept some secrets from me, which was understandable.
“So I think, from the driver’s point of view, it doesn’t change much – for the team, they tried to hide a few things in the second part of the year.”
Fernando Alonso: Lewis Hamilton’s switch was a ‘bit unexpected’
With Hamilton following in the footsteps of Alonso by jumping ship to join Ferrari and attempt to win the title with the Scuderia, Alonso said he had actually missed the furore of the announcement day as he had been busy training.
“I missed all the stress from everybody, so I was just one day late on the news!” he said.
“It probably was a surprise, I will not lie! I think, not because of the change itself, it was just because, from the outside, it seemed like he was very linked with Mercedes and very loyal to them and things like that.
“It was a bit unexpected, but I don’t know the reasons behind… I don’t know anything. I don’t know the story.
“But yeah, I didn’t pay too much attention. Probably next winter is going to be more of a theme. But, because it’s still one year ahead, I didn’t spend much time thinking.”