Jul.22 (GMM) Fernando Alonso has revealed that Alpine never actually made him an offer to stay with the Renault-owned team last year.
Alpine is in the Formula 1 headlines at the moment, but mainly because of lagging progress and sweeping management shakeups.
“It shouldn’t have an impact whatsoever,” said team boss Otmar Szafnauer in Hungary, downplaying the situation.
In contrast, it has been impressive progress over at Aston Martin – a full year after team owner Lawrence Stroll made Alonso an attractive offer to jump ship.
“Last year was quite a stressful grand prix here in terms of emotions, but yes it was a good decision, a lucky decision and I’m happy I made it,” the 41-year-old told Canal Plus in Hungary.
Alonso claims Alpine didn’t try hard to prevent him from leaving.
“Actually, it wasn’t a choice, because I didn’t get any offer from Alpine,” he said.
“If I had had an offer from Alpine at the beginning of the year, I would have signed it, for sure. But I only had one offer and I accepted it.”
However, he said too much is being made about Alpine’s struggles in 2023, after the team replaced him with Frenchman Pierre Gasly.
“I don’t think the Alpine is a slow car,” said the Spaniard. “It’s a very fast car, as you saw at Silverstone, where Pierre was glued to my rear wing for more than 30 laps.
“Performance changes very quickly from circuit to circuit and I’ll be happy if I see Alpine go fast in the future. Long term, I think Aston Martin is a good project and I’m happy, but I’m sure there will be many other battles against them.”
Alpine is currently sixth in the constructors’ championship, with Aston Martin an impressive third behind Mercedes and ahead of Ferrari.
“Trying to finish second is going to be hard until the end,” Alonso said.
“We’ll see how we finish, but we can’t forget that there are several very fast teams and drivers behind us – now Ferrari and McLaren, and we’re in P3 but we want to be P2, yes, but with our feet on the ground until the end.”