Mercedes-shaped plan identified in Fernando Alonso F1 retirement hints

Jamie Woodhouse
Fernando Alonso arrives in Bahrain.

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

Dutch racer and F1 pundit Mike Hezemans believes Fernando Alonso is trying to catch the attention of Mercedes by toying with the subject of Formula 1 retirement.

The shock announcement that Lewis Hamilton will swap Mercedes for Ferrari come 2025 served as a huge stimulus for the latest F1 ‘silly season’ as Mercedes now plot out who to sign as the replacement for their seven-time World Champion.

Fernando Alonso ‘always has an extra plan’

The list of potential candidates continues to spark great debate in the world of Formula 1, especially now that Max Verstappen’s name has flagged up amid the off-track turmoil at Red Bull, Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff making it clear that he would “love” to put F1’s dominant driver in Mercedes colours.

Another multi-time World Champion being linked with the future Mercedes vacancy though is Alonso, the 42-year-old still firing on all cylinders and into the final season of his current Aston Martin contract, though he has made a point of needing these opening races of the season to decide whether he wishes to continue racing in Formula 1.

Alonso apparently contemplating retirement certainly was not expected, though Hezemans believes there is commonly an ulterior motive with the wily veteran, which on this occasion he believes is the desire to be named Hamilton’s Mercedes replacement.

“Alonso always has an extra plan,” Hezemans told “I think he wants to drive a Mercedes next year.

“That’s why he’s going to say: ‘I don’t know yet if I want to drive’. He does that because Mercedes thinks: ‘if we get Alonso, he wants a multi-year contract’. recommends

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And that is significant because Hezemans believes Mercedes do not want to be handing out a multi-year deal, as the bigger picture is their star Junior Team protégé Kimi Antonelli.

Wolff has admitted that Hamilton’s latest and final Mercedes deal was a short-term one with Antonelli in mind, the Mercedes boss not wanting a repeat of when they missed out on Verstappen due to no clear progression plan into the team existing.

And as Antonelli continues to find his footing in Formula 2, Hezemans believes Alonso wants to become that trusty stop-gap driver for Mercedes.

“So I think Alonso is already fully preparing this and he will drive at Mercedes next year,” Hezemans concluded.

Alonso has come out of the blocks in F1 2024 as firmly the lead Aston Martin driver against Lance Stroll, collecting 12 points so far with a P9 finish in Bahrain and P5 in Saudi Arabia.

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