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Aston Martin does not share Alpine’s concerns over Alonso’s age

The Aston Martin Formula 1 team says it does not share concerns that Alpine had about Fernando Alonso’s form potentially dropping off with age.

Fernando Alonso, Alpine F1 Team

The Silverstone-based squad pulled off a surprise before F1’s summer break when it announced that it had lured Alonso away from Alpine for 2023.

It was helped in doing so because Alpine had not been willing to offer Alonso a firm multi-year commitment, as it wanted options to replace him if he could not maintain his current pace now he had hit 41. The two-time world champion had preferred a longer term deal to stay in F1.

With Aston Martin committing to a more lengthy contract, team principal Mike Krack has made it clear that his squad does not have any of the worries that Alpine did.

"We always say 40 is the new 30," he said at the Belgian Grand Prix. "So from this point of view, he's quite a young driver then.

“We have no such concerns. I mean, he's still demonstrating today that he is superfast, and we do not expect any drop off at all.”

Alonso’s contract with Aston Martin is multi-year, although the team has not specified exactly how long he is locked down for.

But Krack said he would not be surprised if the Spaniard actually did another deal after the current one – to help the team fight at the front if it achieves the progress it believes it can make over the next few seasons.

“I will not be surprised if this is going longer to be honest,” he said.

Mike Krack, Team Principal, Aston Martin F1

Mike Krack, Team Principal, Aston Martin F1

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

10-minute conversation

Aston Martin’s deal to land Alonso was completed in a very short time window – with the squad moving immediately over the Hungarian GP weekend when current driver Sebastian Vettel announced his retirement.

Krack suggested that the discussions were finalised very quickly, as both agreed they were right for each other.

“Fernando was always saying, if both parties want to do something it is 10 minutes and then it is done,” he said. “So it was quick….There were a couple of 10 minute [conversations].”

Krack added that Alonso did not need much convincing about Aston Martin’s potential, despite the competitive struggles it has faced this season.

“We openly spoke about our infrastructure and about how we are planning to do this in the coming years,” he said. “And I think that was convincing enough.

“Fernando is also monitoring: Fernando is a clever bloke. He knows exactly what's going on in the teams. He has a huge network for all these years.

“So I don't think that we will have to do convincing work. He knows what's going on through his various sources. And I think the project is something where he is aware he can have a big impact, and I think that's very appealing for him.”

Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin AMR22

Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin AMR22

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Krack also praised the decision of Vettel to make his retirement call early enough in the year to allow Aston Martin to secure someone as talented as Alonso.

“We have to give huge credit to Sebastian, because he's aware of the situation and we spoke about it before with him,” he said.

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“It shows how open and transparent we were with him and he was with us. He was aware that we could fall into such a situation that you have described.

“I think that is also why he made up his mind in the right moment. So from that point of view, I think he was a great help in wanting us to get out of this situation in a good way. And he did not want to reverse the progress.”

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