Another Ballot In The Box For This Driver To Be Lewis Hamilton’s Replacement At Mercedes

Another Ballot In The Box For This Driver To Be Lewis Hamilton's Replacement At Mercedes
Credits: IMAGO/Nordphoto

Aside from their struggles with the W15, Mercedes is still looking for a Lewis Hamilton replacement. The team has various drivers on its watchlist and also receives a recommendation now and then. Appearing as a guest on Beyond the Grid Podcast, F1 Chief Technical Officer Pat Symonds claimed Fernando Alonso could be a prospect for Mercedes to consider.

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When Alonso joined Aston Martin, the team was in shambles. His arrival in the team allowed them to gain some much-needed direction in their strategy. The Silverstone-based team soon turned their fate around and quickly became the dark horse of F1. Eventually, they finished P4 in the constructors’ championship in 2023, taking the entire F1 grid by surprise.

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Symonds believes Alonso would be a short- and medium-term option for the Silver Arrows. Alonso could be the best replacement for Mercedes, given his experience can help the team with their 2026-spec car. Toto Wolff has cleared, but he will still wait for a few months before landing upon a concrete target. He wants to see how the driver market evolves and make an informed decision.

Nonetheless, Symonds claims Wolff does not need to look beyond Alonso in the short term. With George Russell having been a part of Mercedes for at least a couple of years, he is a prospect for the future. Continuity plays a critical role in F1, and Russell could make up for half of the continuity in the Mercedes driver lineup. As for the other half, Symonds claimed he would advise Wolff to sign Alonso and be on the lookout for prospects.

Fernando Alonso keeping Mercedes and Red Bull waiting over his future

Currently, in the last year of his contract with Aston Martin, Alonso is yet to decide on what comes next for him. His team is currently suffering a sharp decline in their performance, especially compared to last year. Hence, it looks unlikely that they will be able to retain the services of the Spanish driver. However, Alonso claimed he wants to understand how he feels about his current system before thinking about other prospects.

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Fed up from consistent questions about his future, Alonso said that his decision will come “before the summer.” Hoping to avoid answering the question for some time, Alonso claimed summer would be the window for him to decide on his future. Thus far in 2024, Alonso has recorded a P9, a P5, and a P8 finish. Contrary to last year, Aston Martin doesn’t look like an outfit that can compete for a podium finish. While teams like Red Bull, McLaren, and Ferrari continue to fight at the front, Aston Martin has yet to solve their fundamental shortcomings.

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