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The most important decision in the F1 driver market. What does Alonso’s new contract with Aston mean?

Date: July 12, 2024 Time: 18:05:59

Fernando Alonso did not lie: as the two-time world champion promised, he decided very early whether he would continue his career at the age of 42 and extended his contract with Aston Martin for at least two seasons. At the same time, rumors sent the Spaniard to Red Bull with Mercedes. Why did Alonso decide not to change teams and what does his move mean for other drivers and teams?

Why did Fernando choose Aston?

Alonso’s form at the start of the 2024 season gave the Spaniard no reason to think the time had come to retire. If so, Fernando had to decide the team. It is clear that for him it made no sense to choose the option “for the future”: he needed a place where he could win now or very soon.

In reality, it is now possible to win regularly only at Red Bull, and the category of potential winners includes Ferrari (there are no places there, they even put the wonderful Sainz), McLaren (there are also no places), Mercedes and “Aston Martin” .

Alonso spoke about Mercedes recently, after the Japanese Grand Prix, saying that the Germans are now behind in the Constructors’ Championship, they simply can’t understand their car, so they don’t look like an attractive option. There was still Red Bull. According to some rumors, the Bulls were interested in the Alonso option: signing Fernando made it possible to create a superduo of drivers and at the same time protect Red Bull in the event of a sudden departure of Max Verstappen.

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But the threat of Max’s departure has passed or almost passed, and in such a situation it is not entirely clear why the “bulls” would give up Sergio Pérez, since the second number is usually rich. Also, Yuki Tsunoda is making great progress at RB, plus Red Bull seems keen to bring back Alexander Albon in 2026. So should we only sign Alonso for one year? Some strange movement, meaningless for both parties.

So, with all the abundance of options, it turned out that Fernando was unlikely to have better options than to stay at the Aston in progress and wait for the team to really take off in 2026. There is reason for optimism: the new base is already partially operational, the wind tunnel will soon come into operation, many strong engineers have been attracted from the best stables and, from the 2026 season, the team will become a factory team, passing over to Honda. engines.

By the way, some believed that Aston’s cooperation with the Japanese could put an end to Alonso’s future; As you can see, it is not like that. Time is the best doctor. Honda, since Fernando’s comments on the GP2 engine, has created the best F1 engine and is obviously capable of leaving previous omissions behind.

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Are there guarantees of success? Nobody will give them to you in F1. The technical staff, led by Dan Fallows, could easily choose a suboptimal concept when working with the new rules, and Honda could end up with a less powerful engine. Furthermore, the Japanese officially “signed up” to the new rules later than others, although they carried out preliminary investigations.

And yet, Alonso’s logic is clear. He signed up for at least two seasons and in 2026 he will know if he has a chance of getting a third title or at least a 33rd victory. Otherwise, he will quietly move into the role of brand ambassador. If so, he will try to do the incredible and become champion at 45 years old. This will be the plot!

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What does Alonso’s decision mean for other teams and drivers?

Red Bull, which is in no hurry to decide its squad for next season, has lost one of its main alternatives to Sergio Pérez. Now the only real options left are Carlos Sainz and Yuki Tsunoda. It seems like the Japanese aren’t taken too seriously, but if he continues to perform so strongly and consistently, maybe he still deserves a chance for promotion? And yet, following Alonso’s decision, Perez’s chances of getting a new contract for at least one year have increased significantly.

Sainz, for his part, lost one of the main options to continue his career. It is believed that Carlos still has a chance at Red Bull and Mercedes, but in both cases he is far from the first number on the list. At the same time, Audi seems to demand a quick response from the still Ferrari driver. Perhaps, once the vacancy at Aston is filled, it makes no sense to wait for Carlos any longer and the time has come to believe in the German project by signing a multi-year agreement. An alternative option is Williams, but it is quite strange that a private British team seems more promising to a Spaniard than an official Swiss one.

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The chances of Alonso moving to Mercedes, as we have already noted, have diminished recently. But now we can officially abandon the concept of “an experienced champion warms the cabin for two seasons for the promising Andrea Kimi Antonelli.” Toto Wolff is still in no rush to sign anyone, waiting for the Italian’s results in Formula 2 and testing old Mercedes cars. Yes, Wolf runs the risk of running out of strong alternatives in Alonso and Sainz, but there will always be a conditional Ocon in reserve, so Toto is willing to wait.

Finally, back to Aston. A brief official press release was dedicated solely to Fernando Alonso. It is clear that the laconic form of the message itself does not imply any details, and yet it is interesting that Aston Martin has only confirmed Alonso, but not Lance Stroll. However, we do not believe that it is worth looking for hidden intrigues here and removing the Canadian from the cabin for the sake of Sainz or Tsunoda. We’d be very surprised if Lance retires before trying to drive a 2026 car. Although F1’s current transfer market isn’t that shocking.

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Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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