Fernando Alonso made his return to F1 in 2021 with Alpine, but has announced that he will leave them for Aston Martin next year.
Alonso is one of F1’s greatest ever. The 41-year old won two World Titles with Renault (who are now known as Alpine) back in 2005 and 2006. Since then, he’s gone on to race for McLaren and even Ferrari before leaving F1 to compete in Le Mans and Indy 500.
In 2021 he made his return to the team where he became World Champion. His return was successful on track, as he showed everyone that age hadn’t slowed him down. However, things became difficult for the Spaniard off track in 2022.
The absolute chaos of the F1 summer break
Meanwhile Fernando Alonso: pic.twitter.com/Nxk4UbTS1X
— WTF1 (@wtf1official) August 2, 2022
Otmar Szafnauer joined them as team principal. From the very get go, he did not hide the fact that he wanted young prodigy Oscar Piastri to replace Alonso. Soon enough, Szafnauer almost got what he wanted. Alonso announced he would replace the outgoing Sebastian Vettel at Aston Martin next year.
As soon as Alonso’s departure from Alpine was confirmed, Piastri’s appointment was announced. The Aussie however made things embarassing for Alpine after posting on his social media account that he in fact won’t be with the French outfit next year.
Alpine gave Esteban Ocon priority over Fernando Alonso
Alonso’s departure from Alpine came as a real shock to everyone. Most people believed that his return to F1 was going to be, to help Alpine grow as a team. Even at the end of the 2021 season, he insisted that he wanted to return to the front of the grid with them.
As a result, fans wondered what made Alonso choose Aston Martin as his next destination. The main reason behind it could be the money involved in contract negotiations.
NEWS: @AstonMartinF1 announces Fernando Alonso for 2023.
Tap below to read more. ⬇️#WeClimbTogether
— Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team (@AstonMartinF1) August 1, 2022
Alonso’s contract is running out at the end of the 2022 campaign. His desire is to race in F1 in 2023 and beyond. However, Alpine reportedly offered him a contract that would pay him less than what the team pay Esteban Ocon.
Ocon is a great talent in his own right, and a Frenchman’s presence in a French team is a huge commercial boost. However, offering a two-time World Champion a salary lesser than $5 million was never going to be enough.
This may have forced the Oviedo born driver to look elsewhere for his F1 future.