Alonso: I felt most wanted at Aston Martin

Alonso: I felt most wanted at Aston Martin

Alonso: I felt most wanted at Aston Martin

Fernando Alonso will remain with Aston Martin for at least two more years beyond his current contract, and the double Formula 1 Champion revealed the British team showed him how much they want him to stay.

Aston Martin’s press release announcing Alonso’s contract extension was a brief statement: “I am here to stay!

But the team soon after that called for a surprise Zoom meeting with the media, including GrandPrix247, in which the Spaniard discussed his future after the renewal of his contract.

“I wanted to keep racing with Aston Martin,” Alonso said. “I wanted to show the loyalty. We started [having] so many high results in such a short space of time It could not be better. We have great partners in the team. It feels that it was a natural decision to keep racing.”

Alonso joined Aston Martin – replacing Sebastian Vettel – for the 2023 F1 season, the second under the current ground-effect aero regulations, as Aston Martin started the year with the second fastest car behind Red Bull.

Alonso delivered eight podiums for the team on his debut season with them, and while their challenge faded as the season progressed, they have started 2024 in a solid albeit unspectacular fashion.

With Lewis Hamilton announcing his move to Ferrari in 2025, even before the 2024 F1 season started, which launched the Silly Season – of which Alonso was a major player – quite earlier than usual.

While Alonso hinted at his interest in a Mercedes drive in 2025, and while Sergio Perez’s seat at Red Bull is yet to be finalized, the 2005 and 2006 F1 Champion decided to stay put after a brief look over the fence.

“I did speak with other people as well,” Alonso revealed. “A normal procedure to listen to all the proposal. In my head there was a lot for me to do and a lot of options.

“For me, I felt the most wanted at Aston Martin. In other teams there was no decision ready to be made,” he claimed.

Indeed, Mercedes are still keeping their cards close to their chest with regards to Hamilton’s replacement, while Red Bull will probably keep Perez on board, especially if he keeps up his current performance level.

Alonso hinted at his plans to keep racing well into his forties, he added: “It was an important moment. To commit to a long term project. A one year project did not make sense for me.

Honda coming on board in 2026 a big factor in the decision

Honda

“I was very clear to Aston in the first conversation. There was a progression at Aston Martin: the new campus last year. The new wind tunnel, Honda coming as a partner. To enter with a new regulation [2026], and for me, to enter with Honda as a partner was top.

“To enter with Honda and Aramco. The biggest and the most talented people in the world. We will have a new wind tunnel and facilities in Silverstone. It was not only 26. It is a life time project. This is the longest project I have signed in my career

“Lets see how many more years I will drive. I have 40 years motorsports experience. This is extremely appealing to me,” the double F1 Champion maintained.

Alonso will drive at least until the end of the 2026 F1 season and for as long as he feels capable, he commented: “I cannot predict when I will stop racing. For sure not in 2025 and 2026 as one of my motivations is to work with Honda.

“So at least two more years, I will not go in the details. I will do my best to be competitive and to win with the team.

“If one day I feel I am not fast or I am not sharp into the qualifying. I have a very honest relationship with Aston and I will raise my hand,” he assured.

However he sees that moment far away for now, he said: “I don’t see that coming. My best ever race was five races ago. I don’t see this a problem Lewis will turn 40 and I am also this age.”

Alonso has contested 382 grands prix over his long F1 career, he has two Championships, 32 race wins and 22 pole positions. His last win was the at the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix with Ferrari. (Reporting by Agnes Carlier)