Ted Kravitz suggests Mercedes wanted Fernando Alonso ‘back in their family’ : PlanetF1

Sky F1 reporter Ted Kravitz wondered if Mercedes would re-power Fernando Alonso to rate him as an alternative to Lewis Hamilton.

Just days after Sebastian Vettel announced his retirement from Formula 1 at the end of 2022, Aston Martin shocked the world of Formula 1 by confirming Fernando Alonso as his replacement.

It means Alonso is leaving Alpine and returning to a Mercedes-powered team for the first time since 2007, when he was teammate to Lewis Hamilton at McLaren for what was Hamilton’s rookie campaign.

Hamilton still seems committed to Formula 1 and Mercedes, its performance and results on an upward trajectory as Mercedes tries to regain lost ground after the regulatory review. Hamilton is under contract with the team until the end of 2023.

However, Kravitz suggested that in the event that Hamilton made time for his career in the near future, Mercedes wanted Alonso with a team they manage to get a closer look at him?

George Russell is seen as the future star to lead Mercedes forward, but with no junior driver close to breaking into Formula 1 yet, Mercedes may want to assess whether Alonso is still up to the task and can potentially perform in their car if the need to replace Hamilton arises.

Fernando Alonso on the grid pondering with Alpine engineers.  Hungary July 2022

“What it also does is reunite Fernando with the Mercedes engine family, which I think is an interesting angle,” Kravitz told Sky Sports News.

“Fernando is no longer driven by Mercedes since he first left McLaren under a bit of a cloud 15 years ago.

“So this would have required an opt-out from Toto Wolff, which it clearly got. Is it ridiculous to think Mercedes wanted Fernando back in their family just to see what he was like?

“If Lewis decided he was going to leave for whatever reason and they needed a world champion to put next to George, wouldn’t it be the end of the world if Mercedes had a little glimpse of what Fernando was like, even if 41 year old years old?

“You might have thought that was unlikely, but as this announcement proves – anything is possible in F1!”

Alonso’s announcement has sparked a series of events that cast doubt on the future of Daniel Ricciardo’s McLaren. Read all about it here.

The well-known fact at this stage is that Alonso has signed a multi-year deal for Aston Martin, a team aiming for title success in the near future but currently only ahead of Williams in the Constructors’ Championship.

So, with Alonso now 41 years old, Kravitz finds the whole situation “a little strange”.

“It’s pretty standard Fernando Alonso career behavior that he’s betting on a marked improvement over the next three years!” Kravitz noted.

“However, that’s the other thing that I find somewhat baffling about the whole thing, that it will be three years at best before Aston Martin can win races and compete for championships. At that time Fernando will be 44.

“He’s as fit as a violin and he’s as in F1 as he’s ever been, his break refreshes him and he doesn’t get exhausted like Sebastian Vettel did. But really?

“And does that suggest Alpine would never happen? Or is he just looking for another team to see what he can do, another challenge? It’s all a bit strange.”

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