Formula 1: Fernando Alonso re-signs with Aston Martin through 2026

SUZUKA, JAPAN - APRIL 7: Fernando Alonso of Spain and Aston Martin Aramco F1 Team during the F1 Grand Prix of Japan at Suzuka International Racing Course on April 7, 2024 in Suzuka, Japan. (Photo by Qian Jun/MB Media/Getty Images)
Fernando Alonso is staying at Aston Martin. (Photo by Qian Jun/MB Media/Getty Images) (Qian Jun/MB Media via Getty Images)

You can rule Fernando Alonso out as a candidate to replace Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes.

Aston Martin announced Thursday that Alonso had re-signed with the team through the 2026 season. The contract will carry Alonso, 42, through his age-45 season as he turns 43 in July.

Mercedes is looking for a driver to partner with George Russell next season after Hamilton’s stunning 2025 move to Ferrari was announced before the 2024 season began. The seven-time champion, 39, has driven a Mercedes-powered car for the entirety of his F1 career and has driven for Mercedes’ factory team since 2013.

Alonso, the oldest driver on the grid, won the F1 title in 2005 and 2006 while driving with Renault. He hasn’t won an F1 race since 2013, though he’s shown serious speed at Aston Martin since returning to F1 in 2021 after two seasons away.

The two-time champion finished fourth in the points standings a season ago and had eight podium finishes in 22 races. He’s currently eighth in the standings with an average finish that’s only slightly worse than his average finish a season ago. He’s also been significantly faster than teammate Lance Stroll over the past three seasons as Aston Martin attempts to challenge Red Bull, Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes at the top of F1.

Mercedes’ search for Hamilton’s replacement is likely to continue into the summer and could be contingent on Max Verstappen’s Red Bull future. Verstappen is signed through 2026 as Red Bull is far and away the fastest team on the grid. However, internal turmoil at the team could make Verstappen decide to get out of his contract early and Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has made it clear that he’d love to have Verstappen on his team.

If Verstappen isn’t a serious candidate for Mercedes, the team could look to pending free agent Carlos Sainz — the man Hamilton is replacing at Ferrari — or 17-year-old Andrea Kimi Antonelli. The teenager is a junior driver for Mercedes and is currently competing in Formula 2.