Alonso: “I will be the first one to raise my hand” and retire from F1 if I lose my speed and motivation

Photo Credit: Aston Martin Aramco F1 Team
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Amidst a flurry of rumours swirling around the 2025 driver market, Fernando Alonso confirming his multi-year contract renewal with Aston Martin earlier this week has officially taken another seat away from others potentially interested in a drive at Aston, namely Carlos Sainz.

Despite speculation linking him to teams higher up the grid like Mercedes or Red Bull, the two-time F1 World Champion opted to stay put with the Silverstone-based outfit.

Describing the latest Aston Martin contract as a “lifetime project,” Alonso hinted at the potential for its extension or transformation into a non-driving role within the company, showcasing a deep-rooted commitment to the team’s vision and long-term objectives.

The Spanish driver’s decision to remain at Aston Martin prompted questions about his readiness to compete into his mid-forties, an age rarely seen in the highly demanding world of modern Formula 1. However, as the Japanese Grand Prix showed last weekend, he is still one of the elite drivers in the sport.

When asked about the possibility of his motivation waning or his performance diminishing with age, Alonso remained resolute, citing his honest relationship with Aston Martin as a driving force behind his ongoing success and his readiness to move on if he ever feels like he’s no longer got it.

“It is true, I will be 45 or more and keep racing.

“If one day, I feel that I’m not motivated, not in good shape or not fast…I think I have a very honest relationship with Aston.

“I will be the first one to raise my hand and say: ‘You know, I have maybe lost here or there’ and we will find solutions.

“But I don’t see that coming for the next few years. As I said in Japan, probably one of my best races ever maybe happened just five days ago, so I am feeling good. I don’t see any problem there.

“And Lewis [Hamilton] will turn 40 next year in January, so at least I will not be the only 40 plus that you will talk [about],” the Spaniard joked.

Photo Credit: Aston Martin Aramco F1 Team

Earlier in the season, Alonso wanted time to make his mind up about carrying on, citing concerns about the demanding nature of the F1 calendar, which featured an unprecedented 24 races.

However, following the Australian Grand Prix, he made the decision to pursue an extension with Aston Martin, driven by his enduring passion for Formula 1 despite the huge sacrifices and the toll that the sport takes on the drivers’ lives.

“Obviously, Formula 1 takes all your time or your energy, you have to give up basically everything in life to keep racing.

“I needed a few races or few weeks to really think for myself if I was ready to commit for more years.

“It was not a racing factor, it was more the travelling, to be honest. Looking at this calendar, I was a little bit afraid that this will be heavy on me.

“There are all the commitments pre-season with all the photoshoots, video, car launch. All these kinds of things are quite demanding for drivers, and for me particularly in this part of my career.

“So I said, let me go through that tough period at the beginning of the year and that tough period of traveling, time zones, big planes and these kinds of things.

He affirmed his unwavering passion for the sport outweighed any concerns.

“I felt that I love too much driving, that I cannot stop at the moment. And I think the sacrifices that you have to make are smaller than the joy of driving and the passion that I have for driving.

“I breathe Formula 1, I live Formula 1, I train to be fit to drive Formula 1 cars, I eat to be fit to drive Formula 1 cars.

“And it didn’t arrive, the moment that I felt I need to change the lifestyle. My lifestyle is great.

“I love what I do, so I will not be happy sitting at home and watching Formula 1 races because at the moment I still feel that I should be there.”