Jenson Button is confident that two-time World Champion Fernando Alonso still has the "hunger" to win and push himself to the limit, making him a candidate that Mercedes should be interested in.
The Silver Arrows are officially on the hunt for a new teammate for George Russell, as Lewis Hamilton is joining Ferrari on a multi-year contract next year.
It's a move which caught Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff by surprise; however, the Austrian isn't short of options.
Mercedes has 18-year-old sensation Kimi Antonelli in its academy, with the Italian driver set to compete in his debut F2 campaign this year with PREMA Racing. Such is the young driver's reputation that some have suggested that he could replace Hamilton in 2025.
Antonelli is viewed as a future World Champion, although Wolff is ensuring that he gives the youngster all the time he needs to mature.
A potential short-term option for Mercedes, until Antonelli is ready for F1, is Alonso, who is out of contract at Aston Martin this year. Alonso will turn 43 during the upcoming campaign but has showcased that his abilities remain at an elite level.
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Alonso still has the 'hunger' to win
Whilst Russell will be eager to prove he is capable of leading the Brackley-based team, signing Alonso would ensure that Mercedes still has a former World Champion in its lineup.
Alonso is also the most experienced driver in F1 history with 380 race entries to his name.
Button would "love" to see his ex-McLaren team-mate signed by Wolff and given Hamilton's Mercedes seat for 2025, a move which the 2009 F1 World Champion thinks could be beneficial for Russell.
“I would love to see Fernando Alonso," Button told Sky F1.
“He is 42 now, but the hunger is there. And if the hunger is there, the fitness is there. He drives every day in a go-kart or some sort of race car.
“If he’s there, I think it’d be a cool partnership. I think they’d learn from each other pretty well and work well together.”