Alpine fire back at Fernando Alonso’s dig

Fernando Alonso has departed Alpine for Aston Martin, having grown frustrated with his former employers.

Towards the end of the 2022 season, it was clear that Fernando Alonso was looking forward to joining Aston Martin, even admitting that he was counting down the days until he could leave Alpine.

The Spaniard’s 2022 was plagued with engine failures, with Alonso being forced to retire from a shocking six races over the course of the season.

The 41-year-old’s relationship with his teammate Esteban Ocon had also turned toxic, with the pair even colliding in Brazil and hindering the team’s chances of achieving a good result on race day.

Since joining Aston Martin, Alonso has often spoken about how happy he is to be a part of the team, but he has also made a couple of thinly-veiled digs at his former employers about their ambition.

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“Everyone here is hungry for success. Maybe they need experience [of] fighting for wins regularly or championships or podiums every weekend but they trust in themselves. They have self-confidence and know that they can achieve that,” he explained when asked how Aston Martin differ from Alpine.

“This is very different compared to any other team that I joined in the last few occasions where maybe they had success in the past ad they were just in a comfortable position. They finished fourth and they were happy with fourth. They finished fifth and were happy with fifth.

“If we were seventh, it was a celebration. Here there are no celebrations until we win and this is very appealing.”

With Alpine finishing fifth and fourth in the last two constructors’ championships, Alonso’s comments are clearly aimed at the French team, much to the annoyance of Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer.

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The Alpine boss has suggested that Alonso was equally happy with Alpine’s achievements, making his comments slightly contradicting. 

“He never raised it. When we finished fourth, if we look back, he was as happy as everybody else. He was part of the team,” explained Szafnauer.

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“When the year before you’re fifth and your ambition is to move up to fourth, it’s not easy to do. We had to beat McLaren – I’ve been to Woking and when you walk by they’ve got a massibe trophy cabinet, so they’re not easy to beat.

“So I think you have to celebrate those successes when you say ‘I want to be in the top four, not fifth’.”

Alpine will be hoping to improve once again in 2023 with Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon in the car, with CEO Laurent Rossi targeting sporadic podiums in the upcoming season.