Fernando Alonso and Aston Martin: the best path for 2025 and beyond

Fernando Alonso is a sporting anomaly. At almost 43 years old, which he will turn in July, he is still active in a sport in which it is usual to retire in the second half of his thirties, at most. Many pilots have not done so by choice, but because they have simply been pushed by others who have evacuated them from their seat.

We don’t have to go far: Carlos Sainz himself is actively searching for employment after Ferrari decided to hire Lewis Hamilton for 2025 and thus form a duo dreamed of by many ‘tifosi’: the best driver in history quantitatively (only He ties with Schumacher in titles, in the rest of the statistics he surpasses him) along with a ‘predestined’ to glory.

But Alonso’s case is special. He, despite the fact that he has gone more than 10 years without a victory and even assuming that it is likely that his record will stop at 32, is one of the few drivers on the grid who can decide his destiny, and he has done so with an option that is riskier than it seems. He had to choose between continuing to stretch his career in search of the long-awaited three-time championship or retiring from Formula 1 to try, as in the impasse between 2018 and 2021, other adventures. The decision has already been made: he stays at Aston Martin, at least, until 2026. Everything indicates that he will be much more, even when he ends up as a Formula 1 driver since he wants to stay at Aston Martin linked in other ways. .

What have you seen in Aston Martin to continue this path and not listen to the options, possibly faster in terms of victory?

The renewal with Aston Martin

Continuing at Aston Martin was the most conservative route but also the most desirable when considering the rest of the options. The British squad allowed him to achieve 8 podiums in 2023, touch the almost legendary ’33’ (Monaco was intermediate…) and above all recover the smile that he had lost in Alpine. Despite competing alongside the owner’s son, the real boss is Alonso and he likes that and it suits him well.

Although, the work of the Aston Martin technicians has not been as ascendant as the start of the previous campaign seemed to foreshadow and they have gone from being the second team on the grid to fifth at the start of 2024, according to Alonso’s own words, it has seen how the evolution in recent months has been exponential. He pointed it out himself: “20 months ago the team was very small, it came from old Jordan.” Since then, they have created a new factory, they have made flashy signings on the technical side (and what still remains: the strongest rumor is that they are going for Adrian Newey himself) and above all they have a firm and established project on the stream of Saudi money coming in via Aramco, its main sponsor.

Fernando Alonso celebrates his third place with Aston Martin in the 2023 Brazilian Grand Prix. Nelson Almeida/AFP

Furthermore, abandoning ship just before the 2026 regulatory change and the arrival of a motorist like Honda, which has little or nothing to do with that of the infamous McLaren era, would be missing a golden opportunity. Aston Martin’s commitment is firm, and they have made it clear to Alonso who promised that, if he continued in Formula 1, he would speak with them first. Word given and fulfilled.

With these arguments, and aware that in other teams he would also have to fight tooth and nail to be the leader, why not continue in the place where they have made him the reference and where he feels most comfortable?

The other paths that he did not take

Continuing in Formula 1 outside of Aston Martin seemed impossible, but Hamilton’s departure towards Maranello had caused a tsunami that could wipe out several drivers. Even despite Alonso’s continuity at Aston Martin, there is still a gap at Mercedes that Toto Wolff is trying to fill, with Carlos Sainz among the most desirable candidates and without Alonso in the market it would be absurd not to take the Madrid native into account. Furthermore, the game of thrones that exists in Red Bull can also end with Max Verstappen himself out of the squad where he is writing his own eulogy, something that no one can ignore.

But Alonso decided to give a resounding ‘no’ to the external siren songs and stay on the green team. Why did he reject the other options?

Right now, Red Bull does not have any of its drivers signed for 2025. That is a reality that weighs more on the shoulders of a more than embarrassing Sergio Pérez, who has not been fired before because contractually it would be too expensive. The Mexican is a foot and a half away from the home of the current world champions (and possibly Formula 1) but Verstappen is also fooling around with an exit. After winning three titles with the team that signed him when he was only 17 years old and having the fourth on track, he may consider it normal to go to another team with substance and power such as Mercedes. The jokes about it are constant in the paddock, and even Verstappen himself said in Suzuka that “lately Toto (Wolff) was speaking very well” about him.

Whether it is Pérez, whether it is Verstappen or whether they are both the ones who leave, the name of Fernando Alonso was on the table of the highly questioned Christian Horner, who saved a serious accusation of sexual harassment against his assistant in a goings-on that has exposed the civil war for the power that is in Red Bull. Hours before the confirmation of Alonso’s renewal was released, the German media Auto Motor Und Sport, AMuS, one of the most reliable on the journalistic scene, had stated that Red Bull gave Alonso two weeks to respond to the offer. raised.

The Asturian never wanted to be in the same team as Verstappen, either because he would not assume being his second, or because battling day after day with the Dutch cannibal would mean excessive wear and tear. Yes, he could win some more races and overcome the barrier of the desired ’33’, but the personal and psychological cost would be too high. He already experienced being in a pen with another rooster in 2007.

The photo of Toto Wolff with Flavio Briatore in the same Monte Carlo cafe where Fernando Alonso shared another photo (alone) but with the same cups has given a lot to talk about. Has there already been any contact? No one can ignore that, without Hamilton, Mercedes needs a driver with experience, talent and hunger to try to overthrow the almighty Red Bull, and Alonso presented himself as a perfect candidate. Furthermore, with the addition that he has a great relationship with George Russell, the team’s future bet.

In this sense, everything seemed to indicate that Alonso would be the ideal replacement that Wolff is looking for… but Mercedes is not experiencing its best days and Alonso no longer has time for experiments. His words after the race in Japan fell like a bucket of cold water: “Mercedes is behind us, so it doesn’t seem like such an attractive destination.” The scent of a corpse that Mercedes is beginning to give off (‘why is Hamilton really leaving?’ is a recurring question in the paddock) is clearly evident with this bolt from Alonso, now confirmed in writing.

Carlos Sainz Jr. during the press conference after finishing third in the Japanese Grand Prix. Reuters/A. Christodoulou

The Carlos Sainz factor

One of the main rivals that Sainz had in that transfer race was precisely Alonso. The Madrid native has had a memorable start to the season, with three races on the podium, one of which was a victory, and with appendicitis that made him miss the only one in which he has not participated. His name, logically, was also on the same agendas as Alonso’s: both Aston Martin, Red Bull and Mercedes know that Sainz is available for 2025, with the added factor that he is quite a few years younger and, therefore , much more race ahead.

The latest information suggests that Mercedes will be the team that will sign Sainz for the next two seasons, with the change to Audi on the horizon but without having to go through the ordeal of spending one or two years with what he is today. It is Stake F1, the team that will soon become the one with the four rings if they do not finally back down.

2024-04-12 22:14:42
#Fernando #Alonso #Aston #Martin #path


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