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Alonso in "good position to negotiate" in F1 driver market

Fernando Alonso believes he has "a good position to negotiate" in the Formula 1 driver market, with the Aston Martin racer linked to Mercedes to replace Ferrari-bound Lewis Hamilton.

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin F1 Team at the Press Conference

Photo by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

Alonso joined Aston Martin for 2023 but his contract expires at the end of this season.

He has had ample opportunity to publicly declare his commitment to the team. But the 42-year-old has instead talked up his best-ever pre-season fitness test results, touted his marketing worth and highlighted that, of the three champions on the grid, he is only one available for 2025.

This has done little to quash speculation that Alonso is a frontrunner for a Mercedes seat to replace Hamilton when he moves to Ferrari, although there is plenty of momentum behind Silver Arrows protege, junior single-seater champion and FIA F2 rookie Andrea Kimi Antonelli.

Speaking on the final day of pre-season testing in Bahrain, Alonso reckoned he was in a "good position to negotiate" while adding he would let the early races of the new campaign play out before turning his attention to where he will drive for 2025 and beyond.

"In my case, it's very interesting because I have, I think, a good position to negotiate," he said. "But I want to at least do the first couple of races without thinking too much.

"I want to see myself into a new season. It's going to be the longest-ever season in Formula 1 [at 24 races].

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR24

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR24

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

"I want to change a little bit some of the travel schedule and things to be really efficient this year and arrive with high energy at the end of the year.

"So, a couple of things that are my main focus now are not so much next year."

The two-time F1 world champion has previously admitted to having been a day late to the news of ex-McLaren team-mate and rival Hamilton’s Ferrari move as he was busy training.

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Alonso says he was taken aback by how quickly the driver market 'silly season' – as it stands, 13 of the grid are out of contract at the end of the year – kicked into life.

He reckoned: "It was a surprise. I was expecting maybe around summertime to have a little bit of action, but it started really early. There were some leaks.

"Probably [Mercedes and Ferrari] have to announce earlier than expected. So, after that, definitely more action going on."

Watch: Time for the Debrief - F1 2024 Pre Season Testing Day 3 Reaction

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