Two-time F1 world champion Fernando Alonso has revealed that Alpine’s lack of professionalism as the Spaniard sought to renew his contract with the French manufacturer’s team in 2022 was one of the key factors in his decision to join Aston Martin. A rather shocking statement revealed on why he quit the French manufacturer team he won two titles with previously.
After two seasons with Alpine between 2021 and 2022, Fernando Alonso announced in the middle of the 2022 campaign that he would be leaving Alpine at the end of the year to join Aston Martin as a direct replacement for Germany’s Sebastian Vettel, who had just announced his retirement at the end of the season.
Long career in F1
Fernando Alonso began his Formula 1 career with Minardi in 2001, before joining the Renault team with whom he won his two world titles in 2005 and 2006. The Spaniard then moved to the McLaren team, where he was team-mate to a certain Lewis Hamilton, before finally returning to Renault due to an unpleasant atmosphere within the Woking team.
After two seasons with the Renault F1 Team, Alonso accepted an offer from Scuderia Ferrari, which he joined in 2010, but the Spanish driver was unable to win a third world title with the Maranello-based team and eventually decided to return to McLaren in 2015, attracted by the return of Japanese manufacturer Honda.
His time at McLaren-Honda was undoubtedly the most difficult for him, as the hybrid power unit developed by the Japanese firm suffered from a lack of reliability and the Spaniard was forced to retire from one race after another. He eventually put an end to his career to explore new challenges in WEC, Indycar and the Dakar.
Return to Formula 1
In 2021, Fernando Alonso announced his return to Formula 1 with his former team Renault, now Alpine, before finally springing a surprise in 2022 by deciding to leave Alpine to join the Aston Martin project from the 2023 season, which he described as his “best decision” since the start of his career.
“I wouldn’t change a thing. I don’t regret anything! Nobody has a crystal ball to know how the teams will perform the following year,” said Fernando Alonso, quoted by Sky Sports.
“When I left Renault, which was my own decision, I joined McLaren, and that season we fought for the world championships. So, in terms of competitiveness, it was a good thing, a good decision.”
“Then I joined Ferrari, and I don’t think any driver can turn down an offer from Ferrari and join that team. We fought for three championships in the five years I was there.”
“Then I joined McLaren-Honda, which was a project we all thought could be interesting and powerful. But it didn’t work out and that sort of thing can happen in this sport. Then I stopped Formula 1 because I had too many things on my mind and too many challenges that I wanted to try.”
WEC and Indycar
“It was a wonderful period in my career to try Endurance racing or Indy with quite good success as well. I’m very happy for that. And then I came back to Formula 1 with what I’ve always considered to be my family at Alpine, at Renault.”
Alonso believes he’s made the best decision of his career
Last month, the Spaniard made a statement to the press claiming the move to Aston Martin to be his best decision ever, although the Spaniard also insists he has no regrets about any of his previous choices.
“…my latest decision, which a lot of people thought was the worst, to go for Aston Martin. But it’s probably the best of my career.” said the Spanish veteran driver.
Alonso left due to Alpine “lack of professionalism”
More recently, when asked why he decided in 2022 to leave Alpine – which was fourth in the world championship – to join Aston Martin, which was the seventh team on the grid at the time, the two-time world champion replied: “Well, there are a lot of circumstances, the first is that Vettel retired, I have to be honest,” he told the El Larguero podcast.
“It was a bit of a surprise announcement that there was a vacancy at Aston Martin. So that was the first factor.”
“The second is that with Alpine the months-long negotiations never came to fruition. We were in agreement on everything, but the paper [the contract] never arrived to be signed and so I saw a lack of professionalism at that time at Alpine.”
“Then at Aston Martin – I think the announcement of Vettel’s retirement was made on the Thursday of the Hungarian Grand Prix – and on Saturday everything was clear and the contract was in front of me and this willingness to have me seduced me.”
“It was a real adventure, it was the seventh [team] in the constructors’ championship, there was a risk, but it worked well and the intuition was right this time.”
Before the Singapore Grand Prix, Fernando Alonso was third in the drivers’ championship, fourteen points ahead of Lewis Hamilton.
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