Why Alonso is playing the 2025 contract waiting game

The Formula 1 paddock is abuzz with the seismic news of Lewis Hamilton’s unexpected leap to Ferrari for 2025, setting off a chain reaction that has caught the attention of Fernando Alonso. The seasoned two-time champion is now recalibrating his strategy, putting contract negotiations with Aston Martin on the back burner as the driver market erupts in speculation and opportunity.

At 42, Alonso, whose contract with Aston Martin is in its twilight year, finds himself at the heart of a whirlwind stirred by Hamilton’s departure from Mercedes. This move not only shakes the foundations of F1’s driver lineup but also opens a coveted seat at Mercedes, with team principal Toto Wolff admitting to an influx of eager calls and messages from drivers vying for the spot. “We have had, as you can imagine, quite a lot of phone calls and Whatsapps,” Wolff shared with CNBC, signaling a period of careful deliberation ahead for Mercedes.

Among the contenders is Kimi Antonelli, a prodigious talent managed by Wolff and just 17, embodying the future Wolff envisions for the team. Yet, Alonso, with his vast experience and resurgence in form, remains a formidable figure in the equation. Wolff’s comments underscore the breadth of options, from raw talent like Antonelli to seasoned veterans like Alonso, highlighting the strategic crossroads at which Mercedes finds itself.

Wolff said: “I think the spectrum is from the very young talent which could be the future for a long, long time, all the way to the other end of the spectrum, which is lots of performance and knowledge. So I’m not sure where this is going to end. But the next few months are going to be interesting in evaluating all those options.”

The intrigue deepens as Marco Canseco of Marca reports Aston Martin’s eagerness to secure Alonso for 2025 and beyond, an ambition now clouded by the Spaniard’s strategic patience. Alonso’s decision to delay talks hints at a broader reassessment of his future in a suddenly volatile market, underscored by Hamilton’s shock move. “Fernando is not sitting down yet to renew with the bosses of the Silverstone team,” Canseco notes, pointing to a landscape profoundly altered by Hamilton’s switch to Ferrari. “It is not a matter that he is in any hurry to address at the moment,” he said. “Why? Because the panorama of stability that looked likely for the next few years in the paddock has been totally blown up (by Hamilton).”

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