What’s truly happening with Alonso’s F1 contract talks

Fernando Alonso says he has no “short-term” curiosity in a swap to Alpine’s sportscar programme as a part of a deal to stick with the model in Components 1 subsequent 12 months, insisting that his long-awaited new contract “is not going to take greater than 10 minutes” to finalise if each side agree.

Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi mentioned in France final week that shifting Alonso into its sportscar programme as soon as he has completed racing in F1 has “all the time been a part of the dialogue”.

The French producer is because of race within the hypercar class within the World Endurance Championship, together with the Le Mans 24 Hours, with an LMDh automobile from 2024 onwards. Given Alpine is thought to be eager to enroll Alonso for F1 for yet one more 12 months, that is in line with wanting to modify him throughout for the beginning of that programme. He gained Le Mans twice and the WEC title throughout his stint with Toyota whereas exploring different championships outdoors F1.

Motor Racing Le Mans 24 Hours Le Mans, France

Nevertheless, The Race understands Alonso is eager on a deal that retains him at Alpine in F1 for a minimum of two years, maybe additionally with an possibility for 2025.

However Alonso insists he’s totally targeted on F1 and {that a} return to sportscars just isn’t in his ideas.

“No, not within the brief time period,” mentioned Alonso when requested by The Race if he would contemplate an Alpine deal that features a swap to the sportscar programme.

“I really feel that I’m contemporary and I’m very motivated and I’m wanting ahead a lot to subsequent 12 months [and] what the second 12 months of those guidelines will carry.

“We race in Las Vegas, we race possibly in South Africa quickly. All this stuff are very interesting and I really feel very quick this 12 months.

“Final 12 months I used to be struggling somewhat bit extra however this 12 months I really feel actually at my 100% and now, even fascinated about sportscars or Indy or no matter is like, ‘not now’.

“My head utterly eliminated it [those thoughts] and I’m staying targeted on F1.”

Alonso has been saying for a while that he hopes to conclude a deal throughout the summer time break, which begins after this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix.

Alpine already has Esteban Ocon signed to the top of 2024, but in addition has Oscar Piastri underneath contract.

Rossi mentioned final week he expects Piastri to race in F1 subsequent 12 months – and Alonso for that matter – however does seem to see the Australian as a possible 2024 driver rather than the two-time champion.

Alonso is known to have made clear his intentions to Alpine, which means that it may boil down as to if the crew agrees to his calls for for an extended deal.

Studying between the traces of Alonso’s feedback about how lengthy it might take to do a deal, it’s clear he would signal on the dotted line if given the long-term safety he needs. As he put it, it might be “unusual” if there was an excessive amount of disagreement over the phrases.

Requested whether or not conferences are scheduled for the August break, Alonso replied: “Not but, however it should occur. I might be on holidays, [the] bosses might be on holidays as nicely so we have to repair some video calls or no matter.

Motor Racing Formula One World Championship French Grand Prix Qualifying Day Paul Ricard, France

“However when two events need to agree on one thing, it takes 10 minutes. When two events don’t, or they struggle to agree on one thing, possibly one of many sides just isn’t blissful.

“It is not going to take greater than 10 minutes with no matter I’m speaking [about].”

The scenario might be difficult by Sebastian Vettel’s retirement on the finish of the season, which opens up a seat at Aston Martin.

Alonso confirmed on Thursday in Hungary that he spoke with what was then known as Racing Level in 2020 when he was contemplating choices for his F1 comeback. Given he’s doubtlessly obtainable subsequent 12 months, he can be an apparent goal for Aston Martin.

This is perhaps extra beneficial to Alonso as a bargaining chip than a critical different. When requested if Vettel’s retirement makes finding out his future tougher, he merely mentioned, with a smile, “not for me”.

He was cautious to not rule out an Aston Martin transfer, as you’d anticipate from somebody making an attempt to get the deal he needs out of Alpine.

“All of the groups are an possibility, so long as they don’t have two drivers signed,” mentioned Alonso when requested about the potential of transferring to Aston Martin.

“My precedence is to be with Alpine as a result of we’ve been working and creating this venture collectively for 2 years now.

“We’re an increasing number of aggressive and doubtless my want is to remain, however we didn’t sit down and transfer issues ahead. So nonetheless all the things’s ongoing.”

Motor Racing Formula One World Championship French Grand Prix Race Day Paul Ricard, France

The probably final result is that Alonso and Alpine will agree a brand new deal for him to remain on the crew.

Given Alonso’s resolve, it should possible must be one which retains him with the crew for a minimum of two years. However till it’s signed and sealed, there’s all the time the chance issues may go incorrect.

“There are two events and I can’t put a gun within the head of everybody,” was how Alonso put it.

However what he’s saying does counsel he’s very emphatic about wanting to make sure he’s there to profit from the crew’s development and enchancment not simply in 2023, but in addition the 12 months after.

Whether or not or not you contemplate {that a} metaphorical gun, Alonso seems to have made his bargaining place very clear to the crew.

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