Fernando Alonso says he felt more appreciated by Aston Martin than he did by Alpine in his discussions with both.
The Spaniard sent shockwaves through Formula 1 when it was announced that he was to replace Sebastian Vettel at Aston Martin for 2023 and beyond.
His decision to leave Alpine for the British team is one that has shocked and confused many, with the former currently top of the midfield pack while the latter are very much a backmarker more often than not.
He is widely believed to have made it because the French outfit were only willing to offer him a one-year deal due to their desire to get Oscar Piastri into their car after that, while Aston Martin were happy to give him a multi-year contract.
The two-time World Champion says that was not the only reason he’s making the move though, with the fact that he felt more appreciated by Lawrence Stroll and co than by his current employers also playing a big part.
“We were moving around in different things and we were not maybe agreeing on the principles,” he told reporters in Belgium regarding his talks with Alpine.
“It’s not only what you agree in terms of duration of the contract, it is also the trust that you feel and how you feel wanted in a place, you know, and if it was just a temporary thing or facts on a timed watch that they are happy with.
“It was always a strange feeling and, as I said, I felt like it was the right decision to move to Aston because they seemed to really want me and appreciate every performance I put in in the last few years.”
It’s likely to be the last team he ever drivers for in Formula 1, and many fear he’ll end his career fighting at the back of the grid as a result.
While he knows that’s a possibility though, he sees reasons to believe that Aston Martin can become frontrunners, and doesn’t think being a backmarker is any worse than being in the midfield fight where he currently is.
“I think for sure there is some risk in every decision you make in Formula One. No one has the crystal ball to guess the future,” he said.
“At the same time, in Formula One, or any sport, you win or you don’t. It doesn’t matter to be fourth or ninth or 13th, you are first or you are not winning.
“I felt that within the possibilities that I had on the table for next year, I felt that this was the right one
“And the project has some ingredients for the future and ones that are normally synonymous with success in F1—when you invest and you have the best people.
Let’s see if we can shortcut that time as much as possible and make Aston Martin first as soon as possible.”