Fernando Alonso has firmed his 2022 F1 deal with Alpine after returning to the sport last year in what seems to have been a 1+1 deal.
When Alonso was announced for a F1 return with Renault/Alpine, it was already said to be a multi-year contract, but in recent times, there was a notion that it wasn’t a straightforward two-year deal, but most likely a 1+1 situation.
With the summer break done for 2021 F1 season and Alonso finding his groove in the last few races, the formal announcement regarding 2022 has been made on the eve of Belgian GP, with Alpine eventually retaining the same line-up for another season.
They already confirmed Esteban Ocon in a three-year deal earlier in the season. Interestingly, Alpine only mentions Alonso for the 2022 F1 season and not beyond for now, which may become a talking point next year, once the new regulation kicks in.
“We are very pleased to confirm Fernando for next season, partnering with Esteban,” said Laurent Rossi, upon the announcement. “For us it is a perfect driver line-up, amongst the strongest on the grid. It works in a hugely complementary way, with both offering raw talent and speed, yet impeccable team spirit that delivered our first win in Hungary.
“Fernando has impressed us all since he returned to the sport at the beginning of this year. His dedication, teamwork and focus to extract the maximum from the team is incredible to be a part of and certainly special to witness. His performance in Hungary was another example of his racing pedigree and reminded everyone how skilled a driver he is.
“I am convinced we can benefit strongly from Fernando’s insight and experience as we enter the final development and optimization phase of the 2022 chassis and power unit. He is just as hungry as we are for success and is putting in every effort to translate it to performance.
“For now, however, we need to focus on delivering a strong second half of the year, extract the maximum at every race and ensure we finish as high up in the constructors’ standings as possible. This will put us in a golden position for next year and the significant opportunity it brings.”
At the same time, Alonso added: “I’m very happy to confirm the contract extension with Alpine F1 Team into 2022. I felt at home the moment I returned to this team and have been welcomed back with open arms. It is a pleasure to work again with some of the brightest minds in our sport at Enstone and Viry-Chatillon.
“It’s been a tricky season for everyone, but we’ve shown progress as a team and the result in Hungary serves as a good example of this progression. We’re targeting more positive memories for the rest of this season but also crucially from next year onwards with the new regulation changes coming into Formula 1.
“I have been a big supporter of the need for a level playing field and change in the sport and the 2022 season will be a great opportunity for that. I am looking forward to the rest of this year and racing alongside Esteban in 2022 for Alpine.”
Here’s Fernando Alonso with Alpine in Le Mans 24 Hours