London [UK], February 12 (ANI): Aston Martin driver Fernando Alonso admitted that he was unprepared for Lewis Hamilton's upcoming switch from Mercedes to Ferrari, which caught him off-guard and believes that it was not seven-time world champion's childhood dream 12 months ago.
Earlier in the month, Ferrari stunned the sporting world by announcing that the seven-time world champion will join the Italian team for the 2025 Formula One season on a multi-year contract. The news brings an end to Hamilton's what is currently a 17-year-long relationship in F1 with Mercedes-Benz and an 11-year-long partnership with the works team.
Deep in winter training mode to prepare for his second season with Aston Martin, Alonso had no idea that Hamilton's decision to join the Scuderia for 2025 and beyond was going to fire the driver market at a very early stage - before a wheel had even been turned in anger in the 2024 season.
"I was training actually that day, so I missed the stress from everybody and was one day late to the news. It probably was a surprise, I will not lie, not because of the change itself, it was just because from the outside it seemed like he was very linked with Mercedes and very loyal to them and it was a little bit unexpected," Alonso said as quoted by Formula 1.
"But I don't know the inside, I don't know the reasons behind, I don't know anything, I don't know the stories so it's more a question for him... It was not his childhood dream 12 months ago no? Or two months ago I guess, because he had a different dream so nothing really to comment on," he added.
Alonso worked for Ferrari for five years, competing for the championship with the Scuderia in 2010. However, he was never able to secure that third world title, and in the end, he decided to depart Maranello after the team was unable to produce a car that could fight for the championship in 2014. But after a decade, Ferrari enters this season full of confidence after being the only team to defeat the unbeatable Red Bulls the previous season.
"I hope [Hamilton] enjoys the experience, it is a very special team. It is more special when you win and that's the thing, you need to win and it's a few years already that they have a very fast car and are fighting for big things. And maybe Lewis can bring that extra to fight for the championship, as I said the car is there," Alonso said.
"Even at the end of last year with a very dominating Red Bull car, Ferrari were still able to match the lap time and be faster than them in most of the qualifying [sessions]. I think the car should be fast enough," he added.
Alonso was eager to emphasize that, despite being in his mid-40s, he is the only world champion on the grid who will be available in 2025, as Hamilton is moving on to greener pastures. Alonso was too busy training for his second season with Aston Martin throughout the winter, little did he know that Hamilton's choice to join the Scuderia for 2025 and beyond would fire the driver market before a wheel was turned in anger in 2024.
"I'm aware of my situation right now, which is very unique. There are only three world champions on the grid, and fast world champions - because maybe in the past they were not so committed to be fast - and yet I'm probably the only one available for '25 so I have a good position. But at the same thing, when I make the decision of whether I want to keep racing or not in the future, first the only talk I will have in the beginning is with Aston Martin because that will be my only one priority," Alonso said.
Then, supporters should anticipate seeing Alonso for a few more years; however, it is unclear if he will stick with Aston Martin or trigger further ripples in the driver market. (ANI)
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