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Alonso touted as Hamilton Mercedes replacement

Former F1 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve has put forward Hamilton's former teammate as the best option to replace the Briton at Mercedes.

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Former F1 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve has touted Fernando Alonso as Lewis Hamilton's replacement at Mercedes from next season.

Hamilton will make the stunning switch to Ferrari at the end of the upcoming campaign to bring an end to what has been a career association with German brand Mercedes, which has included six Drivers' titles in the last 11 years with the Silver Arrows.

Addressing the shock move, which will allow the Briton to carry out a "childhood dream", Villeneuve told La Gazzetta dello Sport: "I'm amazed. Above all due to the timing. An announcement like this is now something never seen before.

"Very strange. It will be talked about all year and it will be fun.

“The feeling is that Mercedes is missing something, and I don't think it will get back on its feet in two years. So Lewis is right to go to Ferrari. Where if he wins, it will be fantastic, it will be the best it can be."

Alonso chosen

The move has already sparked plenty of debate over who will make the step into what will be the vacant seat, with around half the grid out of contract at the end of the year.

Asked who he would choose, Villeneuve - who won the 1997 championship - replied: "Fernando Alonso. That would be fantastic.

"Also because you cannot take another young driver like Russell, not at Mercedes.

"Toto will have his ideas. He is like Flavio Briatore: he has his drivers, he first sends them around and then he brings them into the team."

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