Wolff confirms Mercedes interest in Fernando Alonso to replace Lewis Hamilton | F1 | Sport

Toto Wolff confirmed Mercedes attempted to secure Fernando Alonso from 2025 following Lewis Hamilton‘s mid-season Ferrari announcement. Hamilton revealed earlier this year that he would be leaving the Silver Arrows after 12 seasons and seven world championships.

Team boss Wolff revealed Alonso rejected the Silver Arrows. Speaking to Mundo Deportivo, Wolff said: “At that time, he had no interest in driving for us. After all, Aston Martin offered him a long-term contract.”

The 42-year-old agreed new terms with Aston Martin in April, keeping him at the team until the end of the 2026 campaign. Meanwhile, Mercedes is yet to reveal who’ll be replacing Hamilton, who has been largely second-best to his teammate, George Russell. The play looked like Mercedes would promote the teenage sensation, Andrea Kimi Antonelli.

The 17-year-old won his first F2 race at Silverstone this weekend following a tough start in the series. “His junior formula and go-karting track record is one of a kind. And that’s clear that the pressure ramps up. But it’s like his father says, a champion needs to be thrown in the cold water and needs to swim,” said Wolff.

Antonelli’s ability to cope well with pressure at such a young age will put him in good standing for the 2025 seat – but should Merc opt for a more experienced driver to drive for a season or two, there are plenty of options still available. “Yeah, I have to say, not always I cope very well with pressure,” admitted Antonelli. “Obviously, this season, especially this year, I’ve been under a lot of pressure, to be honest. I have to say today I coped with it pretty well. Still some improvements [needed] because sometimes I still make some mistakes.

“For example, yesterday in quali I did a mistake in my lap and lost quite a bit of time. So definitely, sometimes I still don’t perform as [well as] I could [10th fastest], but yeah, I’m trying every time to cope as best as I can with the pressure.

“And I think today was really the showcase. And actually, yeah, it’s a big relief for me because it really takes away a lot of weight from my shoulders and hopefully we can do a good result tomorrow as well.”

Hamilton ended his F1 win drought dating back to Saudi Arabia in 2021. The Brit capitalised on a poor Lando NorrisMcLaren pit stop to capture the lead at Silverstone. The 39-year-old managed to hold off heavy late pressure from Max Verstappen to take the chequered flag.

“Yeah, I can’t stop crying,” Hamilton said. “I think, you know, it’s been since 2021. I just, every day getting up, trying to fight, to train, to put my mind to the task, and work as hard as I can with this amazing team.

“And this is my last race here, the British Grand Prix, with this team, so I wanted to win this so much for them, because I love them, I appreciate them so much, all the hard work they’ve been putting in all of these years. I’m forever grateful to everyone in this team, everyone at Mercedes, and all of our partners, and then otherwise to all our incredible fans. I could see you lap by lap as I was coming around, and there’s just no greater feeling as to finish at the front here.”

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