Fernando Alonso reveals Lawrence Stroll’s offer

Fernando Alonso has opened up about his Formula 1 career comeback, as he enjoys a revival in his fortunes that propelled him up the Drivers' Standings.

Fernando Alonso’s 2023 Formula 1 journey could have taken a different path had Alpine acted faster. 

Last year’s Hungarian Grand Prix marked a crucial period for Alonso as he contemplated leaving Alpine for Aston Martin. 

Despite concerns about the move being a step back, Aston Martin’s significant progress in 2023 led to multiple podium finishes for Alonso in the first half of the season.

Reflecting on his pivotal decision, Alonso revealed that he never received a concrete offer from Alpine, expressing his willingness to stay with the team if they had approached him earlier. 

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Speaking to NextGen in an interview, he referred to the stressful situation with an offer from Lawrence Stroll, Aston Martin’s owner, which ultimately shaped his career path.

Alonso confirmed a similar scenario with Spanish publication AS, shedding light on Alpine’s interest in junior driver Oscar Piastri, who later experienced contract dramas before joining McLaren. 

Despite not receiving an offer from Alpine, Alonso considered the move to Aston Martin a stroke of luck for his career.

“Last year was quite a stressful Grand Prix here [Hungary] in terms of emotions, with that offer from Lawrence [Stroll],” Alonso told NextGen. 

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“But yes, it was a good decision, a lucky decision and I’m glad I made it.

“In fact, it wasn’t a choice, because I didn’t receive any concrete offer from Alpine. Just words. If I’d had an offer from Alpine at the start of the year, I would have signed it, that’s for sure. But I only had one offer and I accepted it.

“At Alpine, last year, I would have signed up.”

Having spent a year with Aston Martin, Alonso described his new team as a positive and ambitious environment where he feels valued and respected. 

Comparing it to his time with Alpine, where he faced challenges, Alonso appreciates the change of atmosphere and the benefits it brings to his performance on track.

“When you’re in a working environment where you feel valued and respected, as I feel here in Aston, it changes the level of benefit you can give to the team,” he explained.

Despite his departure, Alonso remains supportive of his former team, Alpine, where he won his two World Championships as Renault back in 2005 and 2006.

“I was more or less happy, but no offer ever came,” Alonso said.

“They were always looking for Piastri, for things like that, and as no offer came in the end this one came. And it was a stroke of luck for my career.”

He also believes that Alpine’s A523 car possesses speed and competitiveness, evident from Pierre Gasly’s performance at Silverstone, where he closely followed Alonso for over 30 laps. 

Alonso looks forward to more competitive battles between Aston Martin and Alpine in the future.

“I don’t think the Alpine is a slow car,” he said.

“It’s a very fast car, as you saw at Silverstone, where Pierre [Gasly] was glued to my rear wing for over 30 laps.

“Performance changes very quickly from track to track and I’ll be happy if I see Alpine going fast in the future. 

“In the long term, I think Aston Martin is a good project and I’m happy with that, but I’m sure there will be many more battles against them.”

As the eldest driver on the current F1 grid, questions linger about Alonso’s retirement plans. 

While he remains focused on the current season, Alonso acknowledges that he will be more interested in considering his future next year. 

“Next year I will start to be a bit more interested,” he added, when discussing his future in the sport.

“Right now I’ve thought about it, of course, I’ve talked about it with the team, of course. But we have postponed it to the summer of 2024.

“If it was now the summer of next year, I would say yes, I am interested to see what happens in 2025, we are going to have a new wind tunnel at Aston Martin and there are things that are appealing, that are attractive, and I feel strong and energetic now. 

“I’m not weighed down by travel or training, I’m looking forward to it.

He reveals that discussions with the team about his future have been postponed until the summer of 2024. 

He remains open to possibilities for 2025, which includes Aston Martin’s new wind tunnel project, and he feels strong and energetic, ready to embrace future challenges, including his goal for another world title.

Regarding his quest for a third World Championship title, Alonso is pragmatic, explaining that he wouldn’t still be racing if he didn’t think a title was possible.

“If not, I wouldn’t race,” he said.

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“There are a lot of sacrifices behind a Formula 1 season, a lot of travelling, a lot of preparation, and it’s all with a goal of being world champion. 

“Also, with experience, you know that in Formula 1 you need other things than your personal ambition or your desire to achieve things. 

“To be in the right place at the right time.