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Alonso: Aston Martin first option on F1 future amid Mercedes links

The F1 driver market was turned upside down after Lewis Hamilton’s surprise move to Ferrari opened up a seat at Mercedes, and Alonso has inevitably been linked with the vacancy.

The Spaniard insists Aston Martin will have priority when he thinks about his future, but first he has to decide whether he wants to stay in F1 in 2025.

“If I want to keep racing, let’s see what the options are,” he said. “My first priority will be always to sit down and discuss with Aston.

“They gave me the opportunity last year to join this organisation, which I’m very proud to be part of, with the new factory, with everything that is going on, there is a great future in this team. I want to explore every possibility to race for many years here.”

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin F1 Team

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin F1 Team

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Alonso turns 43 in July and he conceded he has to think hard about whether to commit long term.

“I think there are a couple of phases that I need to go through,” he said. “First of all, I need to decide myself what I want to do for the future, if I want to commit my life, again, for few more years to this sport, which I love.

“But I love driving, I’ve been driving all over winter, different cars; a DTM car, car cross, rally car, go-karts. I love F1, but generally, I love driving. So if it’s not F1, I will find myself happy in any other form of motorsport, and maybe having more time for my private life, which is also very important, at this age.

“But this is a decision that I need to do with myself, I need to think, and I need to commit to a team eventually, and make sure that I understand that the next few years of my life, it will be that team, and 100% of my time.

“Once I do that decision I want to sit with Aston Martin, and say, okay, I made this decision, and I would love to continue with this project. Because I think we did a good step forward in the last year. We built a lot of things together, we have this new facility here, we have everything to succeed for the future. I trust this project.

“So that will be my first priority when I say that I want to speak first with Aston Martin, because I feel part of this project very much.”

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14, leads Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR23

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14, leads Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR23

Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

But Alonso did concede he will be of interest to other teams should he not stay with Aston.

“If we cannot reach an agreement, and I want to commit to race in F1, I know that I have a privileged position,” he said. “I’m probably attractive to other teams, the performance that they saw last year, the commitment. There are only three world champions on the grid. And there is only one available.”

Asked where he thought the barrier was in terms of age, Alonso said he still has some years left in physical terms. However, the limiting factor is potentially the willingness to commit to the workload required to stay at the top level.

“A few years ago, I would say that maybe 40 to 41 was the limit,” he said. “Now, after I saw myself last year, motivated and performing well, I was thinking maybe that I can keep racing few more years.

Fernando Alonso testing the Aston Martin Vantage AMR class one

Fernando Alonso testing the Aston Martin Vantage AMR class one

Photo by: Finetwork

“Now this winter, I’ve been exceeding a little bit the expectations in terms of all the physical tests and everything that I did. So I will say that if you are motivated, and if you want to commit, you can drive maybe until 48 or 49, or whatever, or even 50.

“But at the same time, you have to give up everything in life. F1 needs total dedication. This is my 24th season or whatever in F1. I gave my life for 24 years to this sport, which I’m happy… And I’m okay with that. I can keep doing it for few more years.

“But I don’t know if I will be racing until 50, with such a demanding calendar and things like that. Not for the abilities, but because there are other things in life that I’m curious [about].”

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This article was originally published by a www.motorsport.com . Read the Original article here. .

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