It might appear somewhat unfathomable that a double world champion still capable of competing at the very highest level of sport at 40 years of age is at risk of losing his place in Formula 1 next season.
However, Renault CEO Luca de Meo has not given any promises to Fernando Alonso regarding a possible seat with Alpine going into the 2023 season, so the Spaniard is unsure whether or not he will be sticking around.
Alonso has out-qualified team-mate Esteban Ocon six times this season having finished ahead of the Frenchman in the Drivers’ Standings last year, and he would certainly have been better off in the Drivers’ Championship this season had it not been for a hefty amount of misfortune.
He may even have had a pole position and a podium in Australia if things went his way, so his results have not been matching his impeccable performances since his return to the pinnacle of motorsport last year.
The bosses at Alpine have been witnessing his exquisite talent first-hand, but there has been no confirmation as to the 32-time race winner’s drive next year.
“It’s never a guarantee that you will stay,” said Alonso.
“We have to agree on something, I think, over the break.
“In the next weeks or whenever, I will sit down with the team and see what are their expectations.
“Also, what is the next step on the project, as well? I feel happy, I feel at home in Alpine, but there is no guarantee of anything, for sure.”
The next phase of el plan for the French side is to catch Mercedes having shown superior pace compared to McLaren in recent races, but the eight-time constructors’ champions have picked their pace of late, and have been on the podium in each of the last four races through Sir Lewis Hamilton and George Russell.
As a result, some eyes at Enstone are beginning to turn to development for next year as Alpine seek to break into the top three.
“I don’t think it’s going to be that easy for us, they [Mercedes] have a huge organisation, and we knew that they would come back sooner or later,” explained Alonso.
“For us, it’s a more medium-long-term programme, it’s a matter of starting next year’s car soon enough that we don’t compromise the next project.
“The big teams can start next year’s car, and at the same time keep improving this year’s car. For other teams, this is more of a challenge.”
Alonso is currently 10th in the Drivers’ Standings after scoring points in all of the last five races following an unfortunate run at the beginning of the year.