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After 20 years in the sport and with his 43rd birthday around the corner, Fernando Alonso is still looking strong to keep going in Formula 1. And with Aston Martin failing to impress at the start of the season as they did in 2023, the Spaniard’s name has been linked to Mercedes, who are in desperate need of a worthy replacement for Lewis Hamilton. However, with a history of making alleged wrong moves in his career multiple times, Alonso’s former race engineer and F1s Chief Technical Officer, Pat Symonds drops a word of caution for the double world champion.

There have been many in the F1 community who believe that with his level of skills and intelligence, Fernando Alonso deserves to be more than just a double world champion. However, they also note that the Spaniard has made some poor career choices, particularly his stints with Renault in 2008-2009 and McLaren in 2015-2018. But there is also a case to be made for his stint with Ferrari.

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Alonso’s time at the Scuderia coincided with a period of struggle for the team or rather the rise of Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull’s dominance in 2010. Despite Ferrari’s illustrious history as constructors’ champions for much of the previous decade, they failed to deliver competitive cars for five consecutive years. And while Alonso challenged for the driver’s championship twice in 2010 and 2012, his efforts were often let down by the Ferrari machinery rather than complemented by it.

During his recent appearance on the F1: Beyond The Grid Podcast, Symonds didn’t forget to remind Alonso of the past, despite encouraging Mercedes to sign the Spaniard for 2025. “He’s probably intelligent enough to know that it’s difficult to keep a winning streak going, and maybe it’s time to move. But having said that. He’s got a habit of moving to the wrong place at the wrong time. I think only Fernando can answer that,” said Symonds.

“If you were Toto Wolff, would you put him alongside George Russell for a season or two next year? Yes. I really rate the guy, I think he’s incredibly fast. So, if I was looking for the best result I could get in 2025, who do I need to help me with my brand new 2026 car to a totally new set of regulations, Fernando’s your man… So, I think if I was Toto, I would do it. But I’d be thinking, ‘Okay, well, what’s my next move?’ Because you’ve got to be looking further down the line,” he added.

Regardless of what others might say about his career, Alonso believes that his career has seen more success than failure.

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Fernando Alonso snubs the idea of making wrong career choices

Despite his stellar achievements as the youngest-ever double World Champion in 2005/06, critics have not been shy in pointing out what they perceive as wrong choices in his career path. However, Alonso, at 42 years old, defends his career trajectory. He acknowledges the challenging period he endured with McLaren-Honda but maintains a relatively positive perspective on his overall career.

In an interview with Channel 4 last season, Alonso candidly addressed the criticism, “I would say that of 20 years of my career, I had four frustrating years in a McLaren-Honda that was not competitive. But in 16 years of my life, I’ve been in Formula 1, fighting for podiums and wins and this is something that is quite unique. Sometimes I feel from the outside that people even are a little bit sorry for my career moves [but] the facts don’t tell me that way, so sometimes I’m happy to clarify that.”

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Do you think Fernando Alonso should take up the offer at Mercedes as and when it arrives? Or should he wait for a possible shakeup at Red Bull to land himself a championship-winning car? What are your thoughts on the matter?

READ MORE: Fernando Alonso’s “Dirty Trick” on George Russell Makes Former F1 Driver Support FIA’s Penalty

Written by

Veerendra Vikram Singh

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Veerendra Singh is a Motorsport writer at EssentiallySports who specializes in F1 coverage. Having followed the sport for more than 12 years, Veerendra excels in covering trend-setting articles and has covered Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton, Toto Wolff, and Charles Leclerc extensively during the 2023 F1 season. His Dale Earnhardt Jr post regarding the North Wilkesboro Speedway was shared by Save The Speedway Twitter account.
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Edited by

Shreya Singh