Fernando Alonso has no plans to retire just yet from F1 as Otmar Szafnauer adds on the position of Alpine with him and Oscar Piastri.
While Esteban Ocon has a secured contract for 2023, the talks around his teammate has already begun especially with Alonso not having a deal in place. At the same time, Alpine has Piastri in their ranks who is waiting to make it in after winning the F2 title.
The decision for Alpine centers around what Alonso does. Should he move away, Piastri then will have a clear path to join alongside Ocon. But if the Spaniard carries on, the team will have to find a place in their team and or a different outfit.
“I think obviously, if I was 25, there would not be this talk about future,” said Alonso. “It’s an age thing. People try to find a way for the young talents, but I think this is about performance. And last year, I think I did well. I finished slightly in front of Esteban. Let’s see this year, the battle goes.
“This is about performance, not about age, and I will, as I said, at the beginning of the year, I think I still feel competitive and fast and I feel that I’m enjoying time in Formula 1, so we’ll race, I guess, a couple more years. Two or three more years and if it’s with Alpine, it will be good if it’s with another team will be good as well. But I will find out, and I will start these discussions probably in summer, and let’s see,” summed up Alonso.
When Alpine chief Szafnauer was alerted about Alonso’s idea of staying in the sport for longer, the American welcomed the decision. “It’s great that Fernando wants to continue,” he said. “And we also have Oscar on our books. Oscar is a wonderful young man. He’s very well prepared. He’s really, really hungry.
“One of the most competent young men coming through, and we’re working hard with him to… if there’s a possibility to stick him in the Formula 1 car, we’ve given him that opportunity. Later on in the year he’ll do some FP1s as well for us. He’s doing a lot of simulator work for us, too. An upcoming talent to watch.
“As we sit here in April. I think the pressure and the silly season will be upon us in July. So yeah, no pressure,” summed up Szafnauer, who is not new to contractual situations as he has plenty of experience handling it at Force India/Racing Point/Aston Martin.
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