Mercedes confirms Fernando Alonso is plan B to F1 champion Lewis Hamilton for 2016

fernando alonso to mercedes 2016

Fernando Alonso has been singled out as Mercedes’ main target for 2016 if the Formula 1 team cannot agree a new deal with Lewis Hamilton.

Talks between Hamilton and Mercedes to thrash out a fresh deal were put on hold until after last season, so that the discussions would not get in the way of the title battle between the Briton and his team-mate Nico Rosberg.

AUTOSPORT revealed last October that Alonso was on Mercedes’ radar and although renewal talks began with Hamilton last November, with both parties seeing no reason why a fresh contract cannot be sorted out, Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff has suggested that Alonso is a fall back option in the event that talks break down.

“There’s no hurry, we’ll discuss it during the year,” he told Gazzetta dello Sport, with Hamilton’s current deal running out at the end of 2015.

When asked what would happen if a contract could not be sorted, he said: “I’m optimistic, the priority is to carry on with these drivers. Should it be impossible, then Alonso represents the top alternative, followed by [Valtteri] Bottas.”

Wolff believes that Alonso remains one of the best drivers on the grid, despite the recent disappointing streak at Ferrari that prompted his decision to leave Maranello.

“He is a dangerous rival with any car,” he explained “If he is at the wheel of a car that can finish sixth, he will take it to third place.”

Alonso has rejoined McLaren for 2015, with the team suggesting that the Spaniard has a multi-year deal.

However, there are likely to be performance clauses in the contract that could allow him to leave in the event that the Woking-based team does not deliver.

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