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Fernando Alonso Tipped as Mercedes’ Top Pick to Succeed Hamilton

Ex-Formula 1 Champion Jacques Villeneuve has named Fernando Alonso as the potential successor to Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes for the next season.

Hamilton is set to make a remarkable move to Ferrari after the upcoming season, ending a longstanding partnership with Mercedes, a relationship that has yielded six Drivers’ Championships over the past 11 years with the team.

Fernando Alonso emerges as a strong candidate due to his exceptional performance and experience. Alonso, who has been with Aston Martin, has demonstrated that he continues to compete at a high level into his 40s. His contract concluding at the end of the year positions him as a viable option for Mercedes.

Discussing the unexpected announcement of Hamilton securing a move to Ferrari, Villeneuve shared his thoughts with La Gazzetta dello Sport, expressing his surprise, particularly at the timing of the news, saying, “I’m amazed. Above all due to the timing. An announcement like this is now something never seen before. Very strange. It will be talked about all year and it will be fun.

He commented on Mercedes’ current situation, suggesting that the team might be lacking in certain areas and doubting its ability to recover within two years. “The feeling is that Mercedes is missing something, and I don’t think it will get back on its feet in two years. So Lewis is right to go to Ferrari. Where if he wins, it will be fantastic, it will be the best it can be,” Villeneuve added.

The speculation around Hamilton’s departure has led to widespread discussion regarding his potential replacement, especially given that many drivers’ contracts are set to expire at the end of the year.

When queried about his preference for Hamilton’s replacement, Villeneuve, the 1997 champion, stated, “Fernando Alonso. That would be fantastic. Also because you cannot take another young driver like Russell, not at Mercedes. Toto will have his ideas. He is like Flavio Briatore: he has his drivers, he first sends them around and then he brings them into the team.”