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Briatore already working on 'best option' for Alonso in 2025

Briatore already working on 'best option' for Alonso in 2025
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Flavio Briatore, who still oversees the big-picture management of Fernando Alonso's career, admits he is already scouring the paddock for opportunities for 2025.

Flavio Briatore, who still oversees the big-picture management of Fernando Alonso's career, admits he is already scouring the paddock for opportunities for 2025.

With Lewis Hamilton vacating his Mercedes cockpit at the end of the year, Alonso - with his expiring Aston Martin deal - is not yet ready to re-commit to the team for 2025.

And Aston Martin chiefs may now be very nervous about losing the 42-year-old Spaniard to a faster rival, having failed in the mission to break into the top three or four teams this season.

"The first race of the confirms that there are still four teams in front of us," Alonso told DAZN. "We have started as we finished in Abu Dhabi - behind McLaren, Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull."

Alonso was euphoric when he qualified P6 in Bahrain, only to slump to P9 when Saturday's chequer waved.

"Qualifying did not put us in a situation that was real," he said. "In the race we saw the reality.

"I think I was 18 seconds behind the McLarens and the Saubers were 28 seconds behind," Alonso added. "Once you see that you can't beat those in front of you, you have to accept that those three or four tenths are missing."

However, he's not writing off the season yet, admitting it's now "up to us to take the kind of step like the one McLaren took in the middle of last year".

"Last year we started very strong and then we couldn't keep up with the pace of development of the big teams," he added. "Now I think the base we have will allow us to improve race by race.

"But right now I think the forces are similar to what they were last year, except for us who ended the year a little worse than we started. Ferrari are more or less where they were, Red Bull ahead, same as last year.

"Mercedes improved in the year, McLaren better than anyone - they were the second force at several races. Let's see if we can be one of those changes, one of those surprises, now," Alonso said.

If Aston Martin can't achieve that, Mercedes would appear to be a clear upwards step for Alonso in 2025 - although Gunther Steiner isn't so sure.

"I was surprised," the former Haas boss told RTL when asked about Mercedes' performance in Bahrain. "More surprised than disappointed. They fought with the two McLarens, not with Red Bull and Ferrari.

"I expected more from them."

To begin to sniff out Alonso's opportunities for 2025, the familiar face of Flavio Briatore was a notable figure in the Bahrain paddock.

"We are working and looking for the best future option for Fernando," the Italian, who was seen meeting with Toto Wolff (Mercedes) but also Red Bull's Christian Horner, confirmed.

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Red Bull team principal Christian Horner ahead of practice on November 17, 2023
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