‘Very sad’: Ex-F1 champion warns Alpine about Fernando Alonso joining Aston Martin

Alpine have an all-French driver pairing for 2023, in the form of Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon.

1997 Formula 1 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve doesn’t “see the point” of Alpine having two French drivers for the forthcoming season, with the Canadian believing that the departure of double World Champion Fernando Alonso will be a “huge loss” for the Enstone-based team.

Alonso, of course, announced after the Hungarian Grand Prix last season that he’d be moving to Aston Martin for 2023, to replace four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel.

From what it looks like so far, Aston Martin may have a better package than Alpine, suggesting that Alonso’s move to the Silverstone-based team could be a stroke of genius.

Villeneuve believes that it was Alonso who was “really pushing” Alpine to achieve great things, something that either Esteban Ocon or Pierre Gasly will have to do this year.

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“I think that Alpine will be very sad to not have Alonso anymore,” Villeneuve told PlanetF1.com.

“That’s a huge loss. He was really pushing the team forward. And by doing that, he was helping Esteban as well be competitive and so on.

“Now, you have two French guys in a French team in an international sport. I don’t see the point.”

Whilst it does appear that Alonso will have a very strong car in 2023, the 41-year-old will have to be careful when it comes to dealing with the politics, something that he’s previously struggled with.

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Alonso caused a storm at Alpine towards the end of last season, where himself and Ocon collided twice on-track in Brazil.

Since leaving, he’s continued to make small digs directed at his former side, based on how impressive Aston Martin have been.

On the flip side, Alonso has already spoken very highly of his partner at Aston Martin, Lance Stroll, someone Villeneuve believes might benefit from having Alonso in the team.

At the same time, though, the 1997 Champion has warned Alonso not to “antagonise” Stroll or the British side, should things go wrong this year.

“I don’t know. It’s the same scenario that has been seen in the past, in that environment where a World Champion is taken in to make…like when Vettel was taken, Vettel was already finished, he wasn’t the Vettel of his winning days.

“So the goal, the key there is to have a World Champion that’s not quick enough, so make the other driver look good, but that won’t be the case with Alonso.

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“So I don’t know how that balance will work out, how the atmosphere will stay, but obviously, Alonso, he’s always been a very difficult guy when things don’t go his way.

“We’ve seen it at McLaren, we’ve seen this in many places, but lately, even last year, he’s been extremely positive in his commentary about Lance, even when they clashed in Austin, where in a similar situation in the past he would have gone ballistic.

“So I don’t know, so he might have actually toned himself down a bit and it might work out, and if he manages to not antagonise Lance and the team, he will be very helpful for the team to move forward.”