Alpine F1 a appris le départ d’Alonso avec l’annonce d’Aston Martin

Alpine F1 a appris le départ d'Alonso avec l'annonce d'Aston Martin

The announcement of the arrival of Fernando Alonso at Aston Martin F1 surprised the world of Formula 1 yesterday. The surprise even extended to his current team, since its director, Otmar Szafnauer, reveals that he found out when his future team announced it.

Therefore, it seems that Alonso’s decision was quick and unilateral, as Szafnauer had not thought that his driver was at the start. Indeed, the Romanian thought, as he left the paddock in Hungary on Sunday, that the two men might agree on a contract extension.

Finally, Alonso gave in to Lawrence Stroll’s sirens, obviously not taking the time to warn his current employer. The question is whether Aston Martin anticipated the announcement, or whether the Spaniard really didn’t feel like warning Alpine.

“This is the first confirmation I have had” Szafnauer said a few minutes ago about the Aston Martin press release.

“Obviously when you’re in the paddock there are all sorts of rumours. I heard a rumor that Aston was interested. There were probably discussions. There were other indications that discussions had taken place, like getting out of the same motorhome. at the same time, that kind of thing, that I saw. But he was convinced that even with the talks, we were very close.”

Szafnauer was unable to speak to his pilot.

“I haven’t talked to him because he’s on a boat, I think somewhere in the Greek islands. I took the time this morning to talk to the staff here in Enstone. And the second thing I do is talk to you. And yesterday I got a Lots of calls from other potential drivers.

“He told me: ‘I didn’t sign with anyone'”

Szafnauer confirms that on Sunday night, Alonso told him that he had not signed with another team: “I asked him the question and he said ‘no, no, no, I didn’t sign anything.’ So I was a little bit surprised.”

The former director of Aston Martin adds that, therefore, he did not expect such an outcome, and even that he was “Very confident that Fernando would continue with us as we were very close to closing the deal”.

“There were only a few minor points outstanding, as I said over the weekend and again on Sunday night. He told me that his lawyer would be in contact with us. And I believed that was the case.”

“Before he left, I confirmed to him that we were going to sign soon, and he told me ‘don’t worry, I haven’t signed with anyone else, we will continue with this in the next few days.’ And then the next morning I saw the Aston Martin statement.”

“We were very, very close to signing. We had what I thought was a fair contract on both sides and so did Fernando. It seems he decided to do something else afterwards.”

What was the contract offered to Alonso?

Szafnauer denies that Alpine F1 only wanted to offer Alonso a one-year contract pending Piastri.

“We offered a contract of one year plus one year as an option. And they told Fernando that if next year at the moment he is at the same level, of course we will continue with him. He could have continued. But I think he wanted more certainty regardless of the performance… with three years at Aston Martin. But again, I don’t know, he didn’t explain it to us.”

“The main thing was to have a contract of one plus one instead of two plus one or three plus one or three years.”

“There comes a time when something happens physiologically and you don’t have the same skills as when you were younger. It happened to Michael Schumacher at 42, he wasn’t the same driver as he was at 32 as he was at 35. It happens in cricket, which is a much less physical sport. And it happens to racing drivers too.”

“So we were in favor of ‘yeah, if you keep it high, we’ll keep you.’ But we’re going one year at a time.”

Szafnauer admits that he has exchanged text messages with Alonso ever since. He is confident that the relationship between the driver and the team will be strong enough to produce good results for the rest of the season.

“I have absolutely no worries for the rest of the season. Our goals are clear. We want to finish at least fourth among the constructors. Fernando is also aware of that. I sent him a text message. I will call him. C “He is a competitor and professional and once he puts on the helmet he wants to win. He thinks of nothing else in the car than finishing as high as possible.”

Szafnauer adds that it was “I am sure that I will overcome this moment with the team and Fernando to finish together”.

Anyway, this promises an icy atmosphere when you return from your Spa vacation!


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