Alonso responds to speculation about Alpine sacking him: ‘If I was 25 there would not be this talk’

Fernando Alonso's current contract expires at the end of the 2022 season, and he has said he would be open to joining a different team.

Fernando Alonso insists that his age is the only reason people are talking about Oscar Piastri possibly replacing him at Alpine, affirming that his performance merits a longer stay in Formula 1.

After two world championships with Renault in 2005 and 2006, Alonso returned to the team under its new Alpine guise ahead of the 2021 season to partner Esteban Ocon.

The pair drew 11-11 in the qualifying battle, and Alonso beat him 11-10 in the races, ultimately finishing ahead in the Drivers’ Championship.

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This year, the Frenchman currently leads the qualifying head-to-head 2-1, while a combination of tremendous pace from Ocon and horrible misfortune for Alonso leave the 25-year-old in front in the standings after the opening three rounds of 2022.

Alpine reserve Piastri took six races wins on his way to Formula 2 championship success in 2021, but lost out on a seat this year due to Zhou Guanyu’s financing of his drive at Alfa Romeo.

This does not mean to say at all that the Chinese is not a fully competent and able racing driver, but many feel as though the Australian deserves a place in the pinnacle of motorsport.

This could come at the expense of Alonso, whose contract expires at the end of this year, but the Spaniard maintains that, were he performing as he is now in his twenties, there would be no such speculation.

“Obviously, if I was 25 there would not be this talk. It’s an age thing,” he told The Race.

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“People try to find a way for the young talents, but I think this is about performance. And last year, I think I did well. I finished slightly in front of Esteban. Let’s see this year, how the battle goes!”

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The 40-year-old intends to speak with the Enstone-based side about extending his current deal beyond the end of this year during the summer break, and he feels he has a lot more to give in the pinnacle of motorsport having ended last year’s Qatar Grand Prix on the podium.

“This is about performance, not about age. As I said at the beginning of the year, I still feel competitive and fast and I feel that I’m enjoying Formula 1,” he added.

“So we’ll race, I guess, a couple more years – two or three more years. And if it’s with Alpine, it will be good, if it’s with another team, it will be good as well.

“I will start these discussions probably in summer.”

Alpine sit fifth in the Constructors’ Standings, slipping behind McLaren after an oil seal failure agonisingly cost Alonso what might have been a sensational pole in Australia.