Why Alonso 'rejected' Red Bull to replace Ricciardo for F1 2019

Fernando Alonso says he rejected an offer to drive for Red Bull in Formula 1 next season because he was not convinced it could offer him the chance to win

Why Alonso 'rejected' Red Bull to replace Ricciardo for F1 2019

The build-up to this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix has featured a bizarre tit-for-tat as Alonso claimed Red Bull approached him to replace Renault-bound Daniel Ricciardo in 2019.

Alonso claims to have turned down "four or five" offers, including one from Red Bull, to stick with his decision to quit F1 at the end of this year.

Red Bull states it has not approached him since 2007.

"I had other offers as well," said Alonso. "I don't think my targets or my challenges for next year were in F1 anymore.

"The offers I had, including that one [from Red Bull], they were not for winning.

"They are [all] probably, on performance, more than one second from pole position, as we saw [in Belgian GP qualifying].

"To be fifth or sixth or seventh will not be the same challenge or enthusiasm as I can find away from F1 in 2019.

"I made my decision a couple of months ago and I'm extremely happy with that."

Red Bull has won three grands prix this season but is switching to Honda engines next year as its relationship with Renault has increasingly soured.

Alonso has a fractious recent history with Honda, having routinely criticised the Japanese manufacturer during its troubled three-season spell with McLaren from 2015-17.

While Alonso is not alone in doubting Red Bull's ability to challenge Mercedes and Ferrari next season with Honda, he claims to have been offered drives in 2007, '09, '11 and '13, which would mean he rejected the team during its spell of four double titles from 2010-13.

"I was happy at Ferrari," Alonso said. "We were maybe not winning the championship, and it seems like we were not competitive and a long time not winning, but we were second three times.

"In all the offers I had after that, I still had Ferrari in my heart and I believed the following year was the good one."

Red Bull and Alonso agree that an offer came when the Spaniard was leaving McLaren from his tumultuous single season in 2007.

Alonso said he had offers from Red Bull, Toyota and his 2005-06 title-winning team Renault, which he eventually rejoined.

He explained he did not pick Red Bull because it was still a growing team and not in contention to win.

Alonso says another offer came when he was on the brink of signing for Ferrari for 2010.

"It was a little bit of a stressful time," said Alonso. "I had like four days to decide, and I was talking quite seriously to Ferrari.

"At that time I thought Ferrari was the safest thing and the best choice for the future.

"I'm still proud to make that decision. If you have crystal ball maybe you change opinion, but if not you will not say no to Ferrari."

shares
comments
Wolff: Possible Ocon/Stroll/Vandoorne driver swaps like chess moves
Previous article

Wolff: Possible Ocon/Stroll/Vandoorne driver swaps like chess moves

Next article

Ricciardo can’t explain time loss 'everywhere' in Spa qualifying

Ricciardo can’t explain time loss 'everywhere' in Spa qualifying
Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver Plus

Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver

Many doubted Lewis Hamilton’s move from McLaren to Mercedes for the 2013 Formula 1 season. But the journey he’s been on since has taken the Briton to new heights - and to a further six world championship titles

Formula 1
Feb 2, 2023
Why new look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era Plus

Why new look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era

OPINION: With teams outside the top three having struggled in Formula 1 in recent seasons, the rules changes introduced in 2022 should have more of an impact this season. How well Haas does, as the poster child for the kind of team that F1 wanted to be able to challenge at the front, is crucial

Formula 1
Feb 2, 2023
The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff Plus

The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff

OPINION: Although the central building blocks for Mercedes’ recent, long-lasting Formula 1 success were installed before he joined the team, Toto Wolff has been instrumental in ensuring it maximised its finally-realised potential after years of underachievement. The 10-year anniversary of Wolff joining Mercedes marks the perfect time to assess his work

Formula 1
Feb 1, 2023
The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate Plus

The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate

Alpine’s signing of Pierre Gasly alongside Esteban Ocon revives memories of a famous all-French line-up, albeit in the red of Ferrari, for BEN EDWARDS. Can the former AlphaTauri man's arrival help the French team on its path back to winning ways in a tribute act to the Prancing Horse's title-winning 1983?

Formula 1
Jan 31, 2023
How do the best races of F1 2022 stack up to 2021? Plus

How do the best races of F1 2022 stack up to 2021?

OPINION: A system to score all the grands prix from the past two seasons produces some interesting results and sets a standard that 2023 should surely exceed

Formula 1
Jan 31, 2023
Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022? Plus

Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022?

Who was the fastest driver in 2022? Everyone has an opinion, but what does the stopwatch say? Obviously, differing car performance has an effect on ultimate laptime – but it’s the relative speed of each car/driver package that’s fascinating and enlightening says ALEX KALINAUCKAS

Formula 1
Jan 30, 2023
Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return Plus

Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return

He has more starts without a podium than anyone else in Formula 1 world championship history, but Nico Hulkenberg is back for one more shot with Haas. After spending three years on the sidelines, the revitalised German is aiming to prove to his new team what the F1 grid has been missing

Formula 1
Jan 29, 2023
The potential-laden F1 car that Ferrari neglected Plus

The potential-laden F1 car that Ferrari neglected

The late Mauro Forghieri played a key role in Ferrari’s mid-1960s turnaround, says STUART CODLING, and his pretty, intricate 1512 was among the most evocative cars of the 1.5-litre era. But a victim of priorities as Formula 1 was deemed less lucrative than success in sportscars, its true potential was never seen in period

Formula 1
Jan 28, 2023