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Fernando Alonso on replacing Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes: I am an attractive option

Fernando Alonso has spoken for the first time about the possibility of replacing Ferrari-bound Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes and admitted that his contract situation makes him an “attractive” option.

Hamilton surprised the Formula One world when he announced on February 1 that he will be leaving the Silver Arrows to join the Italian outfit for the 2025 season.

The Briton's exit from Mercedes, where he won six of his seven world titles, means there will be a spot opening up to become George Russell's teammate at the end of this season.

And two-time champion Alonso's name was immediately linked with a move to replace Hamilton boosted by the fact he was one of the few top drivers whose 2025 contract was not signed and sealed.

The 42-year-old spent a fractious spell with the German manufacturer when he was teammates with Hamilton at McLaren-Mercedes in 2007.

But Alonso clearly feels he is in a strong negotiating position although he also insisted that his “first priority” will be speaking with current team Aston Martin about staying on.

“I am aware of my situation, which is very unique,” said Alonso at the launch of Aston Martin's 2024 car at Silverstone. “There are only three world champions on the grid [Alonso, Hamilton and Max Verstappen] and I am the only one available for 2025, so I am in a good position.

“On a move to Mercedes, there has been nothing at all. I know the driver market has started earlier this year, but this will not affect me in terms of preparing for the season.

Fernando Alonso to Mercedes?

"I have the luxury to decide," he tells me. First decide on his future, then speak to Aston Martin, then who knows?

Video for @BBCSport