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Fernando Alonso: Aston Martin driver unsure about F1 future as links to replace Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes continue

Over half of the F1 grid are out of contact after this season including two-time world champion Fernando Alonso; Mercedes have a seat available due to Lewis Hamilton's move to Ferrari; watch Saudi Arabian GP from Thursday with another Saturday race live on Sky Sports F1

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With Lewis Hamilton moving to Ferrari next season, Aston Martin team principal Mike Krack gives his thoughts on whether Fernando Alonso will remain with the team beyond this year

Fernando Alonso wants to wait for a "few races" before deciding on whether he will continue to drive in Formula 1 amid links to him replacing Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes.

Alonso, who finished ninth at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, is one of 13 drivers on the grid without a contract for 2025 as his Aston Martin deal expires at the end of this year.

The 42-year-old made it clear in early February that he is one of only three world champions in the field - Hamilton and Max Verstappen being the others - when asked about the possibility of joining Mercedes.

"First of all, I need to decide if I want to keep racing. I will need to decide that in a few races," said Alonso.

"I feel great now but it's a demanding calendar. In 2026, there are different regulations that are maybe tempting or not. I will wait a few races to decide."

Alonso has previously stated the current number of races on the F1 calendar is "well over the limit" with a record-breaking 24 events scheduled for 2024.

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Fernando Alonso says he needs time to decide if he wants to continue racing before contemplating the open Mercedes seat

The two-time world champion is the most experienced driver ever and Toto Wolff admits Mercedes' options are "incredibly interesting".

"Really strong people will be available for 2025," said Wolff.

"Do we want to rely on experience and perhaps try something new? Or do we want to focus on youth and take the risk that we have a rookie and then have to look at this from a medium- to long-term performance perspective?"

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Toto Wolff says Kimi Antonelli will be successful in F1 but will wait to see if he will be Lewis Hamilton's replacement at Mercedes in 2025

Aston Martin want to retain Alonso and Stroll

Alonso joined Aston Martin at the start of 2023 from Alpine in a move that surprised many at the time as it aligned with Oscar Piastri also leaving the French constructor for McLaren.

The Spaniard enjoyed his best campaign for a decade last year as he took eight podiums and finished fourth in the championship.

Aston Martin team principal Mike Krack has admitted keeping Alonso and Lance Stroll, whose contract details are unknown, is the target for 2025.

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Fernando Alonso hits back at George Russell during a discussion on budgets!

"First place, he needs to decide if he wants to continue or not, I think he made that very clear," Krack told Sky Sports F1.

"Then if he does, I hope we are in pole position. We will try to keep having him and discussions then have to happen. But first of all, he needs to be sure of what he wants to do.

"I think if I give you a name, then you ask me for three others. For us, the target is clearly to keep the drivers we have and hope that Fernando continues.

"It's a good point but I think Fernando being Fernando, we know that he will give everything until the last lap of his career whenever that might be. So we as a team, we will only gain from that. So I have no doubt in any of this and rest assured, as long as we have two racing drivers here we will give it everything and I'm sure they will give it everything from their side as well."

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Ted Kravitz is in the paddock to review all the biggest stories from the Bahrain Grand Prix

Sky Sports F1's Saudi Arabian GP schedule

Wednesday March 6

  • 2.30pm: Drivers' Press Conference

Thursday March 7

  • 9.50am: F2 Practice
  • 10.50am: F1 Academy Practice
  • 1pm: Saudi Arabian GP Practice One (session starts at 1.30pm)
  • 2.55pm: F2 Qualifying
  • 4.45pm: Saudi Arabian GP Practice Two (session starts at 5pm)
  • 6.15pm: F1 Academy Qualifying
  • 7.15pm: The F1 Show

Friday March 8

  • 11.55am: F1 Academy Race 1
  • 1.10pm: Saudi Arabian GP Practice Three (session starts at 1.30pm)
  • 3.05pm: F2 Sprint Race
  • 4.10pm: Saudi Arabian GP Qualifying build-up

Saturday March 9

  • 12pm: F1 Academy Race 2
  • 1.20pm: F2 Feature Race
  • 3.30pm: Saudi Arabian GP build-up: Grand Prix Saturday
  • 7pm: Saudi Arabian GP reaction: Chequered flag
  • 9.30pm: Saudi Arabian GP highlights

Watch the second round of the new F1 season - the Saudi Arabian GP - live on Sky Sports F1 this coming week, with practice on Thursday, qualifying on Friday and the race at 5pm on Saturday. Stream every F1 race and more with a NOW Sports Month Membership - just £21 a month for 12 months. No contract, cancel anytime

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