APRIL 8, 2024

Alonso dropping out of contention for top team move

Fernando Alonso appears to be heading towards a new deal with Aston Martin - although he's still not committing to staying put or even staying in Formula 1 beyond 2024.

Fernando Alonso, Australian GP 2024
© Aston Martin Racing

Recently, the Spaniard was legitimately linked with moves to either Red Bull or Mercedes for 2025. But at Suzuka, Max Verstappen said having a 43-year-old teammate would be strange - and Dr Helmut Marko agrees.

I don't know why, but they don't belong together at Red Bull, he said.

And suddenly, Mercedes is admittedly adding extra days to 17-year-old Kimi Antonelli's extensive test program for 2024 rather than sounding likely to secure a top-name experienced driver.

Mercedes is behind us, Alonso said after finishing ahead of both silver cars at Suzuka, so this option doesn't seem attractive to me.

Also unattractive, however, is finishing 44 seconds behind the leader, the two-time champion added.

Yes and no, Alonso said when asked if his sixth place on Sunday helps him to make a decision about 2025.

"Today I had fun, which is important to feel when racing. But I had one of the best weekends of my entire career and was still 44 seconds behind the leader. That's not so much fun.

"No one will ever remember Suzuka 2024 for what I did. Red Bull and Ferrari are in another league and McLaren and Mercedes are ahead of us, so our natural position is ninth and tenth in each qualifying and in each race.

Let's see, he added.

Alonso seems to be implying that if Aston Martin doesn't start taking faster strides towards the front of the field, he may simply decide to return to retirement.

For sure Fernando is the first one who wants to do better, we know that, team boss Mike Krack told DAZN. "So I think we will do better.

I think we have one of the best drivers in history.