In an unexpected revelation, Fernando Alonso has shed light on the contract drama that unfolded last year between Alpine and Aston Martin. The 2023 Formula 1 season could have taken a completely different turn for the Spanish driver had Alpine acted more swiftly.
Looking back to the 2022 Hungarian Grand Prix, Alonso found himself in a period of uncertainty, contemplating a potential move from Alpine to Aston Martin. Back then, the idea seemed like a step backward due to the teams’ differing performances.
Lucky move to Aston Martin
However, the tables turned dramatically in 2023 as Aston Martin surged forward, enabling Alonso to secure multiple podium finishes in the opening half of the season.
Alonso recently disclosed in an interview with NextGen Auto that he had never received a concrete offer from Alpine. He expressed that if such an offer had been made at the start of the year, he would have gladly committed to Enstone once again.
“Last year was quite a stressful Grand Prix here [Hungary] in terms of emotions, with that offer from Lawrence [Stroll],”
Alonso shared. “But yes, it was a good decision, a lucky decision, and I’m glad I made it. In fact, it wasn’t a choice, because I didn’t receive any concrete offer from Alpine. Just words. If I’d had an offer from Alpine at the start of the year, I would have signed it, that’s for sure. But I only had one offer, and I accepted it.”
Alonso: No offer ever came…
The two-time world champion reiterated a similar sentiment in his conversation with Spanish publication AS, revealing that Alpine seemed more interested in nurturing their junior driver, Oscar Piastri. Ultimately, Piastri faced his own contract dramas and eventually signed with McLaren.
It’s impossible to come to Spa and not look back at this mega lap⚡️
Lewis’ pole position in the W11 🐐
— Mercedes-AMG F1 News (@MercedesNewsUK) July 24, 2023
“I was more or less happy, but no offer ever came,” Alonso explained. “They were always looking for Piastri, for things like that, and as no offer came in the end, this one came. And it was a stroke of luck for my career.”
The revelation offers a glimpse into the behind-the-scenes negotiations and decisions that have a profound impact on a driver’s career trajectory in Formula 1. Alonso’s move to Aston Martin has undeniably reinvigorated his competitive spirit and led to some impressive performances this season. As the 2023 season unfolds, fans can’t help but wonder what other surprises and twists the F1 world has in store.