Formula 1: Fernando Alonso describes the Aston Martin seat

Formula 1: Fernando Alonso describes the Aston Martin seat

Fernando Alonso is committed: to Aston Martin, but above all to Formula 1. The Spaniard has signed a new contract with Lawrence Stroll’s team, which will keep him in the first class at least until the end of 2026.

Despite his advanced racing age of 42, the decision was not difficult for him, Alonso revealed after the deal was announced, giving a deeper insight into his racing spirit:

“It feels like a natural decision for me to continue – and to do it with Aston Martin,” Alonso says.

Regarding the talks with his team, he explains: “It was easy. I think it hasn’t changed much since we spoke at the car show in February. I just needed a few more races or a week to make myself “I” think if I’m ready to commit to Formula 1 for a few more years .”

“The calendars are getting tighter, as are the cars and the commitments. But my love for Formula 1 and Aston Martin has not changed. I just wanted to explore myself,” says the Spaniard, knowing well: ” Formula 1 “It takes all your time and energy, basically you have to drop everything to continue the race. I just wanted to pray with myself about whether I’m still ready for it.”

“But as soon as I made that decision, I think it was right after Australia, I sat down with Aston, as I said in February: that was my first priority and yes, it was not very difficult. I think ” We both wanted the same thing, “says Alonso: “I wanted to continue driving for Aston Martin and Aston Martin wanted me to keep my seat as both sides want, then at some point come together.”

“It can’t be the end”

After only four races of the 2024 season and despite many rumors about the possibility of a move to Red Bull or Mercedes, Alonso is keeping clear and extending his work sheet, which ends at the end of the season, for at least two more years:

“It is very exciting to continue racing with this team that I feel at home with,” says Alonso, who admits: “There was also a feeling of loyalty that I wanted to express to the team. We started together a year and a half ago. and we have achieved many things, some of which were unexpected that you can achieve very quickly in Formula 1.”

For Alonso, it is clear in retrospect: “That was, or at least I felt like, the beginning of the journey. It cannot be the end of the journey for me and Aston Martin. That is why I am very, very happy. and very happy also for the people in the factory, for the employees and our partners.

Alonso: He had talks with other teams

The first-class veteran does not hide that he also talked to other teams before signing: “I think that’s normal. When you start negotiations, you must first explore the market a little. You should also listen to everyone else. That’s just a normal procedure. I think it’s also valid to listen. recommendations and look at market movements.

The same for the affected racing teams: “It is clear that the teams looking for a driver also ask everywhere, that they knock on everyone’s door and ask about the status of the contract, even if they don’t like it. OK for me “But without a clear goal, my first priority it was an Aston,” Alonso claims.

He adds: “In my head, Aston was the most logical decision, also the best. And I felt more desirable for Aston Martin.”

According to the Spaniard, things have never been the same with other teams: “Maybe it would have needed more time or these things, but at Aston there was a clear desire to work together, which I also had. That’s why it came quite easily.” believes Alonso, who also wants to close the topic with this: “I will not explain in detail which teams I talked to because that is no longer important now it is Aston Martin’s day and a day of good news.”

Alonso: “Determine my own destiny”

However, one aspect that Alonso gives great importance is still important for him to emphasize: “I already said this in Jeddah that there are movements here and there, rumors about everyone, but also that I am far from it ” I will make my decision when the time comes, I will not rush because there is pressure here or there, I don’t wait to see if something happens somewhere so I can intervene.”

Alonso boldly: “I will decide his fate – for better or for worse. I will do what I think is best, in my time – and not the time that anyone dictates. After three or four I made a decision. that I will continue and I am ready to sacrifice a few years more than my normal life, but I’m happy to continue traveling, I feel healthy and motivated.

Here’s how Alonso’s decision-making process went

According to his own statement, Alonso deliberately waited until the beginning of the season to review these parameters to assess the difficult time in this phase of the year.

“Photographs, videos, car presentations. All these things take a lot of energy,” says the Spaniard: “Travelling, time differences, big planes, all these things. If I had the feeling that I no longer like what I was. to do “I think it might be better to stop racing.”

But as it is known, the answer was different – especially since Alonso made a simple decision: “Of course I also wanted to see how we did,” admits the driver of Aston Martin: “There is no guarantee that if I feel good, but. I see that things are not going well for Aston, we have hard car to drive, we don’t see any progress in the team, but some bad sides I don’t see then maybe I should look for something else.

But the first opinion of 2024 encouraged the Spaniard: “Well, we were not on the podium, but I think it is very close among the top four teams, except for Red Bull. There will be races where we are better or worse “But we also keep a place new in the car four times in the first race, we had an improvement every race. That is encouraging and good to see.

Alonso is convinced: “The team is making progress. Of course things are not going fast enough in Formula 1, it is a very demanding sport, a challenging environment. But 18 months ago, 22 months ago, we still had little Jordan- Factory now we are here, half tenth above or below Ferrari and Mercedes, and this kind of progress is something about this project, with all its ambitions, that’s why I want to be part of it.

Alonso still has big plans for Aston Martin

The fact that, despite being 42 years old, Aston Martin immediately offered him a multi-year contract also played a role: “That was important, I’m not going to lie. Getting involved in a one-year project could. ‘t work for me “It doesn’t meaning. It’s not like I had a one year recommendation anywhere else. It was only at Aston that the interesting part of this project was everything we were building,” reveals Alonso.

“A new campus last year, a new wind tunnel this year, new rules will come in 2026. And Honda joins as a partner. For me it was necessary: ​​to deal with new rules and a new project, with a new wind tunnel. ,” says the Spaniard.

He praises: “Now we have incredibly talented people in the team on the technical side who will benefit the most from the new equipment. So there were many things that made 2026 and Aston very interesting. But it’s not just 2026, it’s … in a way, this is a life project for me.”

Because Alonso confirms that with a new contract he will remain with the Greens even after his career ends!

“This is the longest contract I have ever signed in my life, because it will tie me to Aston for so many years: Let’s see what the role is and how long I will continue to drive. But even after that, I will be done. 25 years of experience in Formula One 1, and those ten or 15 out, so about 40 years of experience in motorsport, to benefit the team that gives me this opportunity at this stage of my career is very motivating for the years to come.”

Age does not stop Alonso

His great age does not give Methuselah of Formula 1 a headache: “I will be 45 years old or more and I will continue to race. If one day I feel that I am not motivated, out of shape or not in a hurry,” Alonso says, ” Then I – and I think I have a very loyal relationship with Aston – I’ll be the first to put my hand up and say, ‘Maybe I’ve lost something here and there.’ And then we will find a solution.”

However, Alonso is convinced: “I don’t see that happening in the next few years. As I said recently in Japan: I probably drove one of my best races five days ago. I think I feel good, I feel “So. I don’t see any problem with that,” said the old and new Aston Martin spearhead.

He’s also happy: “Lewis (Hamilton) will be 40 in January next year. So at least I won’t be the only person over 40 you’re talking about.”

Love for Formula 1 was the deciding factor

The 2005 and 2006 world champion leaves no doubt that the fire still burns unchanged, at least inside him: “I had the feeling that I just loved driving so much and I couldn’t stop at the moment. The sacrifices you have to make, are smaller than the joy of driving and the passion I have.”

Alonso explains: “I manage Formula 1, I live in Formula 1, I train to be fit to drive Formula 1 cars, I even eat to be fit for Formula 1. And the moment when I feel like changing this lifestyle has not happened yet. My life is good and I love what I do so I don’t enjoy sitting at home watching Formula 1 races because at the moment I feel like I’d still be there.”

According to Alonso, his only fear is “that I will miss my family and I will not have my normal life or my family for some time. But in this case I said: ‘Okay, let’s look at it year by year, month by month.’ I also talked to my family about coming to the races more often. Now everyone is coming to Miami, my mother, my sister, my nieces and nephews, some of them worry about continuing.”

The Spaniard admits that he never thought about ending his career after all: “If I stop Formula 1, I will drive somewhere else.”

Although he currently only has the first class on his mind, he wants to try the Dakar Rally again at some point and Aston Martin’s Le Mans project is also an attractive prospect for him, says Alonso.

A natural runner says: “It is very difficult for me to imagine life without the steering wheel in my hand. That will never happen, or at least not in the near future. So no, I was 99 percent sure that the next “Finishing me. work was not an option.”