Alonso: "Strange feeling" as Alpine F1 talks stalled for a couple of months

Fernando Alonso says there was “always a strange feeling” in his Formula 1 contract talks with Alpine for 2023 before Aston Martin’s approach made him feel more wanted.

Alonso: "Strange feeling" as Alpine F1 talks stalled for a couple of months

Less than four days after Sebastian Vettel announced his plan to retire from F1 at the end of the season, Aston Martin confirmed it had signed two-time F1 world champion Alonso as his replacement on a multi-year deal from 2023.

It came as a shock to Alpine, who had expected to retain Alonso for next year, and blew the driver market wide open with repercussions for a number of other teams. Alpine now finds itself in a contract dispute with McLaren over Oscar Piastri, who it intends to field next year alongside Esteban Ocon.

Alonso spoke publicly for the first time about the move on Thursday at Spa, revealing he was contacted by Aston Martin shortly after Vettel’s retirement plan was announced. The contract was signed on the Monday after the race before the team “decided to announce quite quickly before any leak.”

Alonso reiterated that his intention was to stay at Alpine prior to Aston Martin’s approach, but that talks were “not moving forward for a couple of months already.”

“It was a logical move to me because Aston was very willing to have me and trust on my abilities on the track and off-track as well to develop the project,” Alonso said.

“In my case also, it felt that after all the negotiations and the months, having the seat available for a younger driver and talented driver like Oscar, it was the right thing to do and a win-win situation it seems for everybody.”

One of Alpine’s reservations in negotiations with Alonso was offering him a long-term contract, preferring a deal that had yearly options.

Alonso added it was not only the length of the contract that was a sticking point in talks, saying it was “also the trust that you feel, and how you feel wanted in a place - if it was just a temporary thing, or if it’s just facts and a time they are happy with.”

“It was always a strange feeling,” Alonso said. “I felt that it was the right decision to move to Aston, because they seemed to really want me and appreciated my performances over the past two years.”

Fernando Alonso, Alpine F1 Team A522 and team mate Esteban Ocon, Alpine F1 Team A522

Fernando Alonso, Alpine F1 Team A522 and team mate Esteban Ocon, Alpine F1 Team A522

Photo by: Alpine

Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer revealed after Alonso’s exit was announced that he only found out the Spaniard would be leaving when the press release was issued by Aston Martin.

Alonso admitted that Szafnauer “probably didn’t know anything” but said he did tell everyone who had been involved in talks that he was leaving prior to the announcement.

“I informed [Alpine CEO] Laurent Rossi, president Luca de Meo, my mechanics and my engineers before any announcement,” Alonso said.

Read Also:

“All the people that were involved in the negotiations, they’d been informed before any announcement on Aston Martin. Otmar was not involved in the negotiations, and yes probably, Laurent or Luca didn’t call him before the announcement and he was surprised by that.

“But yeah, all the people that I’d been negotiating with, they’d been informed before any announcement of my move to Aston, and even my mechanics or my engineers, I took my time to inform them before any announcement.”

shares
comments

Related video

Tsunoda: AlphaTauri F1 future depends on "things in the background"
Previous article

Tsunoda: AlphaTauri F1 future depends on "things in the background"

Next article

Leclerc admits 2022 F1 title revival "a very difficult challenge"

Leclerc admits 2022 F1 title revival "a very difficult challenge"
How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future Plus

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future

Multiple-title-winning designer and team boss Ross Brawn is finally leaving Formula 1 after nearly 50 years in motorsport. But he still has plenty of insights on what’s working and what comes next, as he revealed to Autosport in a far-reaching exclusive interview in Abu Dhabi

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Plus

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Plus

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022
The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star Plus

The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s team-mate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy Plus

How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Plus

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Plus

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022
The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success Plus

The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success

OPINION: Charles Leclerc achieved his target of sealing runner-up in the 2022 world championship with a masterful drive behind Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. And that race contained key elements that may help him, and Ferrari, go one better in Formula 1 2023

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022