F1 »

Mercedes will consider Alonso for vacant seat

Toto Wolff says Mercedes 'has to consider' Fernando Alonso as a candidate to replace Nico Rosberg and join Lewis Hamilton next season.
Toto Wolff has hinted Mercedes will be willing to pursue Fernando Alonso as a replacement for newly-retired world champion Nico Rosberg, but McLaren has indicated it isn't open to letting its star driver go.

As the shock of Rosberg's sudden exit from the sport subsides, attention has turned towards who could replace him in the triple title-winning Mercedes team.

Though Mercedes' options are hampered by every high-profile candidate being contracted for 2017 at this late stage in the year, a number of committed drivers have still been identified as potential options, with McLaren's Alonso amongst the prospects.

READ: Jost Capito outlines McLaren's biggest priority for the 2017 F1 season

The two-time world champion is about to start his third season of a three year contract with McLaren but is arguably top of Mercedes' wish-list if there is availability, with Wolff alluding to him as an option he wants to explore.

"You have to consider Fernando," he told Sky Sports F1 "He is a driver I respect a lot. He combines talent, speed and experience. It's all there.

"But he is in a contract with McLaren-Honda at the moment and we just need to weigh all the other options up.”

However, McLaren F1's new chairman Zak Brown has made it clear the team would put up a fight to block any attempt by Mercedes to poach the 2005 and 2006 world champion.

FEATURE: 10 Grand Prix events that should DEFINITELY be revived

"We have a contract with Fernando and he is very happy. Obviously he wants to be winning races, as do we, but I am not worried about that scenario."

Indeed, while McLaren has struggled for form since reviving its collaboration with Honda, Alonso has spoken of a desire to spearhead the project to success but the 2017 season could prove pivotal for his future in the sport if the team cannot capitalise on the upcoming change in regulations to make significant headway.

Should Mercedes succeed in luring Alonso to its team it would see him paired with Hamiton ten years after their infamously fractious time together at McLaren prompted the Spaniard to leave the team after one just one season.

As it stands, Pascal Wehrlein remains the favourite to succeed Rosberg at Mercedes, though the manufacturer has inferred it is concerned by his relative lack of experience relative to other potential options. As well as Alonso, Valtteri Bottas – whom is partially managed by Wolff – has also been identified as a target.

QUIZ: The 2016 season is over… but how much about it can you remember?

Latest Tweets from Crash.net & GPF1rst

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
21.10.2016 - Free Practice 2, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
George Russell, Mercedes junior programme, [Credit: Mercedes]
Valtteri Bottas, Nico Rosberg
Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes AMG Petronas
Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes AMG Petronas
Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes AMG Petronas
Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes AMG Petronas
Ayrton Senna - McLaren. 1993 Donington Park
Nico Hulkenberg - Renault Sport F1
Nigel Mansell - McLaren-Mercedes
Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas
Who will replace Nico Rosberg at Mercedes?
Who will replace Nico Rosberg at Mercedes?
Lando Norris, McLaren Autosport BRDC Awards [Credit: Martyn Pass PR]
Kimi Raikkonen tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Lewis Hamilton tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Daniel Ricciardo tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Kimi Raikkonen tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.

© 1999 - 2017 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.