Fernando Alonso accused of making comments ‘purely for PR purposes’

Fernando Alonso will race for Aston Martin this year, having grown frustrated with Alpine’s reliability.

The driver market was an interesting one last season, as the shock retirement of Sebastian Vettel forced teams to search for new drivers, as a domino effect began.

Alonso announced over the summer break that he would be moving to Aston Martin to replace the retiring German, leading Pierre Gasly to replace him at Alpine and then Nyck de Vries to replace him at AlphaTauri.

The relationship between Alonso and Alpine became toxic towards the end of the season, as the Spaniard became fed up with the team’s reliability issues, which forced him to retire from six races over the course of the season.

The 41-year-old also collided with his teammate Esteban Ocon in Brazil, leading Alonso to voice his desire to get out of Alpine over the team radio and in interviews following the race.

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Alonso has a history of these aggravated radio messages, often being happy to voice his frustrations with his car or with another driver in the heat of battle.

Former F1 driver Allan McNish has now suggested that these radio messages and remarks during races could be a sign of Alonso’s natural talent and intelligence, explaining how difficult it can be to focus on racing and still think about other things.

The Scot has explained how different things are in F1 now, as he used to have to use his brain to analyse races much more than drivers do now, due to the access to technology and data.

“I basically used to get the pit board, even if we’re doing a long run or whatever, and I would make sure they counted down the laps, and then I would say ‘right, lap 20, this happened, that corner’, and you would lock it in your head,” he said.

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“But now it’s completely different. That’s the way the world is, but I still believe the driver with the brain capacity that has got that extra headroom to be able to deal with all of that will deal with other things, and now it’s race strategies.

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“It’s like Fernando, able to make these very clear comments which are purely for PR purposes on the radio while he’s wheel to wheel with someone going round the outside of a fifth-gear corner, and that’s because he’s got that extra brain capacity.”

Alonso has boldly claimed that Aston Martin could be championship contenders within a couple of seasons, leading some fans to believe that a similar meltdown from the Spaniard could be seen with his new team.

Team principal Mike Krack has quickly shut down these claims, suggested that an open and honest relationship with his new driver is the key to keeping him happy.