Alonso Shocked by Hamilton’s Ferrari Move & Rumors of Mercedes Seat

Fernando Alonso talks about how he was taken by surprise with the news of Lewis Hamilton's impending switch from Mercedes to Ferrari.


By Ben Bush
Updated on February 12, 2024

Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso McLaren 2007

During training for his second season with Aston Martin, Fernando Alonso was utterly unaware of Lewis Hamilton’s decision to sign with Ferrari in 2025.

The early announcement has unexpectedly stirred the drivers’ market before the 2024 season has even begun.

“I was training actually that day, so I missed the stress from everybody and was one day late to the news,” Alonso said. “It probably was a surprise, I will not lie, 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 it was a little bit unexpected.

“But I don’t know the inside, I don’t know the reasons behind, I don’t know anything, I don’t know the stories so it’s more a question for him… It was not his childhood dream 12 months ago no? Or two months ago I guess, because he had a different dream so nothing really to comment.”

Alonso’s time at Ferrari lasted five years, during which he contended for the championship with the team in 2010. However, his quest for a third world championship remained unfulfilled, leading him to depart from Maranello after the team’s inability to produce a car capable of winning the championship in 2014. A decade later, Ferrari enters the 2024 season with renewed optimism, distinguished as the sole team to secure a victory against the dominant Red Bulls the previous year.

“I hope [Hamilton] enjoys the experience, it is a very special team,” Alonso continued. “It is more special when you win and that’s the thing, you need to win and it’s a few years already that they have a very fast car and are fighting for big things. And maybe Lewis can bring that extra to fight for the championship, as I said the car is there.

“Even at the end of last year with a very dominating Red Bull car, Ferrari were still able to match the lap time and be faster than them in most of the qualifying [sessions]. I think the car should be fast enough.”

As Hamilton prepares to embark on a new chapter from 2025, Alonso highlighted his unique position as the only world champion on the grid available for that season, demonstrating remarkable endurance and competitive spirit even in his mid-40s. This situation has sparked rumours about the possibility of the Spanish driver filling the soon-to-be-vacant seat at Mercedes left by Hamilton.

“I’m aware of my situation right now, which is very unique,” Alonso said. “There are only three world champions on the grid, and fast world champions – because maybe in the past they were not so committed to be fast – and yet I’m probably the only one available for ‘25 so I have a good position.

“But at the same thing, when I make the decision of whether I want to keep racing or not in the future, first the only talk I will have in the beginning is with Aston Martin because that will be my only one priority.

“And then the number I will keep racing, a few years ago I would have said 42, 41 is the limit. But now after last year, when I saw myself motivated and performing well, I was thinking maybe that I can keep racing a few more years.

“Now this winter, I have been exceeding a little bit the physical expectations and tests I did, so now I would say that if you are motivated and if you want to commit, you can drive to 48 and 49 or 50.”

Fans can expect Alonso’s presence in F1 for several more years – yet, it’s uncertain if he will continue with Aston Martin or create further surprises in the driver market.

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About The Author

Chief Editor

Ben Bush

Ben is our chief editor specialising in F1 from the 1990s to the modern era. Ben has been following Formula 1 since 1986 and is an avid researcher who loves understanding the technology that makes it one of the most exciting motorsport on the planet. He listens to podcasts about F1 on a daily basis, and enjoys reading books from the inspirational Adrian Newey to former F1 drivers.

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