Former Formula 1 driver Felipe Massa is unconvinced by Fernando Alonso’s decision to move to Aston Martin for the 2023 season.
Alonso was out of contract at the end of the current season with Alpine, and it was thought that he would begin negotiations with the French side regarding an extension over the summer break.
However, Sebastian Vettel announced his retirement last week, so his seat at Aston Martin will become available next season.
It took but a few days for the British team to fill that void, and they announced the signing of Alonso on Monday morning.
It was a move that sent shockwaves through the Formula 1 world, as Alpine have made their way back to the top of the midfield and have, at times, shown signs of troubling Mercedes this season, so there was confusion as to why Alonso has decided to leave.
Renault CEO, Luca de Meo, previously gave no guarantees that the double world champion would stay as part of the team next year, given Alpine’s eagerness to get Oscar Piastri into the pinnacle of motorsport.
Massa partnered Alonso for four seasons at Ferrari as the Spaniard won 11 of the 77 races in the final four years of the V8 era.
The Brazilian sees why Aston Martin would want to sign a driver of Alonso’s calibre, but he suggested that this is a step down for the 32-time race winner.
“I think first of all Fernando is an amazing driver, I had the chance to be team-mate with him a long time in Ferrari,” Massa told the F1 Nation Podcast.
“I learned a lot with him so he is, in my view, one of the best drivers in Formula 1.
“It was a little bit strange to hear the decision from him to sign with Aston Martin, to be honest.
“I think Aston Martin has a lot to gain with Fernando there, don’t know if Fernando has a lot to gain by being there with Aston Martin in my view.
“The most important thing for Fernando is to have a competitive car in order to show what he is able to [do], but I don’t think, if things stay the way it is now, Fernando fighting for tenth, eleventh, twelfth, thirteenth positions, this I don’t think will be really interesting for him.”
Alonso scored his 98th career podium in F1 at last year’s inaugural Qatar Grand Prix, and he has scored points nine times this season.
By contrast, Aston Martin’s current driver pairing of Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll have been in the top 10 a combined eight times this year.