Szafnauer: “We were very close to an agreement with Fernando Alonso”

Szafnauer: "We were very close to an agreement with Fernando Alonso"


8/2/2022 at 7:17 p.m

European daylight saving time


The Asturian surprised this Monday by announcing his signing for Aston Martin

“I asked and he said he didn’t sign anything,” said the Alpine boss

Aston Martin’s signing of Fernando Alonso was without a doubt one of the big bombshells on the market. Everything seemed made with Alpine, ieEven the team set the Belgian GP as the date (between August 26th and 29th) to make the Asturian’s continuity official. “Everything will be very simple, it’s just a matter of time, there are details,” said Alpine director Otmar Szafnauer after the Hungarian Grand Prix.

But the reality was very different and Alonso finally announced a change of scenery, confident in the project led by Lawrence Stroll. Quite a blow that they didn’t expect from the French team. This Monday, after the official announcement, Alpine sent a message through its networks in which he “wished the best for the Asturian” and assured that “we want to finish the rest of the 2022 season well with Fernando in blue”. But after the “Day of Reflection”, the French team spoke a lot about the Spanish decision.

In a press conference expressly organized at Enstone’s facilities, Szafnauer himself admitted that he had learned about the news from Aston Martin’s press release. “This is the first confirmation I’ve received,” he said.

“When we are in the paddock there are all kinds of rumors and I had heard a rumor that Aston was interested, that there were negotiations. There were other signs, like I was in the same RV with someone else at the same time, all those things I saw. “But there’s nothing wrong with exploring,” said Alpine’s director, who the announcement assured “I was surprised” because “we were very close to an agreement”.

“I had asked and he said he hadn’t signed anything, so I’m surprised. I haven’t spoken to him since then.”

duration, key

One of the most important points in the contract extension for Alonso was the contract duration. “It’s true that Fernando wanted a little longer; a little shorter for us”, recognized the Romanian-American capo “I thought we agreed.” As Szafnauer explained, Alpine offered the man from Oviedo a “one year plus one” contract because “it’s difficult to predict the future”. We discussed that of course we would have him if he continued at this level next year, but he wanted more security, regardless of performance, he wanted to stay longer,” explained the Alpine ‘Team Principal’. “You can say that Michael Schumacher was not the same driver at 42 as he was at 35,” he compared.

A fact recognized by Alonso at the age of 41, who did not seem to worry Aston Martin, who offered him a multi-year contract without a specific date.

Regarding the difference between the two teams, Szafnauer explained that “both have a lot of potential”, although he assured that in Alpine “there are plans to improve and win in a hundred races”. Referring to the final leg of the season, he said so the “goal is clear” to finish fourth in the Constructors’ Championship and that Fernando “is a professional” and “will work hard”.

Hours after the press conference, Alpine confirmed their duo for next year, which will consist of Esteban Ocon and the young Australian. Oscar Piastri winner last year of Formula 2 and current tester of the team.

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