Fernando Alonso drops possible retirement hint when questioned about Mercedes seat

Henry Valantine
Fernando Alonso arrives in Bahrain.

2024 represents the 21st full season in which Fernando Alonso will take part in Formula 1.

Fernando Alonso has hinted that 2024 may be his last season in Formula 1, if the demands of the 24-race calendar prove too much to sustain.

Alonso was once again asked whether or not he would be interested in the seat set to be vacated by Lewis Hamilton come the end of 2024 at Mercedes, with the two-time World Champion talked up as one of the key candidates for the drive.

While he has previously indicated his first priority would be to stay with Aston Martin, he also made it clear he is the only “available” World Champion on the grid for next year – but has now suggested he is taking stock over his future.

Fernando Alonso to decide over F1 future in early rounds of 2024

With Alonso still as sharp as ever at 42, the Spaniard has seen his name in the frame for a possible Mercedes drive next season as Hamilton departs, but the man himself is taking a more pragmatic approach.

With Formula 1 set to embark on its longest ever season, he is going to see how he feels about continuing beyond the end of this season before deciding to assess his options on the driver market this year.

“Well, first of all, I need to decide if I want to keep racing, that will be the first thing that I need to decide in a few weeks or a few races,” Alonso told media including PlanetF1.com in Bahrain when asked about the possibility of driving for Mercedes in 2025.

“I feel great now, but I know it’s a demanding calendar and in 2026 there are a different set of regulations as well, which maybe are tempting or maybe not, I don’t know.

“But this year, as I said in the car launch, I will wait a few races to decide.”

PlanetF1.com recommends

F1 Fantasy: How to win and top tips from the 2023 champion

Five key factors that could make Aston Martin a force to be reckoned with

On the expansion of the calendar itself, with Alonso heading into his 21st season in the sport he already counts himself as the driver to have raced in more Grands Prix than anyone in history.

But within that time, the calendar has undergone a significant growth, with his first season holding 16 races and a 24-race schedule this time around representing a 50% increase in workload in that time.

Suffice to say, he believes it’s too many races.

“I think we are well over the limit,” Alonso stated.

“I started and we had 16 races, then it was it was 18 at some point and then I think when Liberty [Media, F1 owners] came, you have a message that we had 20 one season and that was absolutely the limit, 20 races, and now we are up to 24.

“This is not sustainable for the future, I think, for anyone.”

Read next: Lewis Hamilton: Christian Horner investigation is ‘hanging over the sport’