Alonso advises Szafnauer to “not talk at all” as Spaniard rips into former Alpine F1 boss

Spread the love

It is common knowledge that, had it not been for the comments of some of Alpine’s management and the indecisiveness over how long the contract should be, Fernando Alonso would not have joined Aston Martin.

The Spanish driver had every intention of staying with the French team, but several things played a role in the process, including the fact that Laurent Rossi and Otmar Szafnauer were never very clear about the length of the contract. While the Oviedo native wanted to negotiate two more years with the Enstone team, the top brass only guaranteed him one, and at the same time made negative comments about Alonso on a number of issues, one of them being his age.

All of this caused the driver of car number 14 on the grid to question the team’s commitment to him, and someone else was watching: Lawrence Stroll who, as soon as Sebastian Vettel announced his retirement, missed no opportunity to approach the two-time champion and offer him a seat at Aston Martin. Although the Silverstone-based team was in a bad way at the time, Fernando Alonso saw the potential and what looked like another bad career decision turned into six podiums in the first eight races of the 2023 season.

Despite the bad feeling, the Spaniard clarified his feelings about the poor handling of Alpine and its controls:

“I don’t think I felt disrespected,” he said to the BBC.

“But it is true it took longer than I thought when we started conversations – I think it was in Australia back in [April] 2022 – about renewing the contract.

“It was just on a very slow pace, and it was not from my side. I was just ready and happy. The 2022 car was a fast car so I was also happy with the performance and the possibilities into the future.

“So that slow pace of conversations and eventually not even putting on paper what we were writing and all these comments about the age and whatever, which they are still doing.”

Alonso then stuck the boot into Szafnauer after the Romanian-American left Alpine by mutual consent.

“It is the way they do things. Or the way Otmar does things. Because after this year, he should be quiet. He should not talk at all. After the results of Aston Martin and the results he’s achieving, he’s still talking and still proud of the decision, which is incredible, amazing.”

After this unexpected move, the Spanish driver is completely satisfied with the change of team: “It has been a great welcome from everyone that I go back to a more competitive position. Also for Aston Martin – everyone is happy for a new team to join the fight. We see in the grandstands a lot of green colour.”

After ten years, finally being able to see one of the best drivers in the sport’s history in a competitive package once again is a delight for old F1 fans and even more so for new ones.

“The old fans who still remember some of the good days, it is good to prove to them that I can still be quick, and enjoy my driving. And for the new fans who maybe never saw me on the podium, it is good to have this possibility again.”

Photo credit: Aston Martin Cognizant F1 Team