Two-time World Champion Fernando Alonso assures that his recent move to Aston Martin was a rather easy decision.
Fernando Alonso recently surprised the whole F1 community by announcing his move to Aston Martin leaving his current team Alpine F1 after the 2022 season, replacing retiring Sebastian Vettel.
The move was rather shocking as Aston Martin is performing even worse than Alpine F1 currently.
Speaking to media during the Belgian GP, the Spaniard clarified that, he was not feeling conciseness about his future with Alpine F1. Alonso pointed out that, Alpine was focusing more on his age rather than his performance on extending the contract.
The 41-year-old was in talks with Alpine for many months over a contract extension.
“When it seems that I have to be evaluated every year because my passport says whatever date of birth, it seems strange to me,”
“Other teams think differently; they trust in my abilities and I’m happy for that.
“[With Alpine] we were moving around in different things and we were not maybe agreeing on the principles. It’s not only what you agree in terms of duration of the contract, it’s just also the trust that you feel and how you feel wanted in a place…It was always a strange feeling.”
Before the summer break, Alonso had pointed out that, finalizing a contract with Alpine would take only 10 minutes. However, he also cleared the point that the two parties were on the same page for the matter. He said:
“when two parties, they want to agree on something, it takes 10 minutes.”
It was clear that Alpine and Alonso were not able to come up to the same wavelength for the contract extension. Aston Martin saw this opportunity and grabbed it open-handedly bagging a two-time world champion for 2023.
“Aston Martin seemed to want me more” – Fernando Alonso
Alonso signed a multi-year deal with Aston Martin following Vettel’s retirement.
“I felt that it was the right decision to move to Aston,”
“because they seemed to really want me and appreciate every performance that I was putting in in the last two years.
“For some months, I’d been chatting with [Alpine] about extending the contract. But nothing officially arrived and nothing officially happened. And Aston called me after Sebastian retired. If Sebastian probably continued, this would not happen, the move to Aston. They were very clear and very easy decisions from my side.
“I had the phone call from Aston after Sebastian announced that he was stopping at the end of the year. At that point we sat down and we got to this agreement. I think the project is very attractive. Obviously, there is a lot of investment going on in the last few years. A lot of new people came to the team, very talented engineers, designers, new facilities in Silverstone. So, I felt that it was a nice project for the future.
“They were extremely happy to join forces and to have this possibility to grow up together. And we felt that it was the right thing to do.”
“Many knew about my decision before announcement” – Fernando Alonso
Fernando Alonso clarified that Alpine Team Principal Otmar Szafnauer didn’t know about the news beforehand. However, many others knew.
Both the team bosses, CEOs, and even mechanics and engineers in Alpine F1 knew about Fernando’s decision beforehand.
Nevertheless, Otmar Szafnauer didn’t have any idea about the move until the press release by Aston Martin.
“It’s true, Otmar probably didn’t know anything,”
“but I informed Laurent Rossi [Alpine’s CEO], [Renault] President Luca de Meo, my mechanics and my engineers before any announcement. So, all the people that were involved in the negotiations, they’ve been informed before any announcement on Aston Martin.
“Otmar was not involved in any negotiations, and yes, probably Laurent or Luca didn’t call him before the announcement and he was surprised by that. But all the people that I’ve been in negotiation with, they’ve been informed before any announcement. And about my move to Aston, as I said, even my mechanics, and my engineers. I took my time to inform them before any announcement.”
Nevertheless, all things have settled now. Alpine currently needs to focus more on finding a replacement for the 2-time world champion.
The team is in a center of the complete mess formed as a result of the shenanigans of the silly season.
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