Alonso on hold: Major Aston upgrades delayed until Imola

Fernando Alonso faces a prolonged period of impatient anticipation for a substantial improvement to his Aston Martin in 2024, with major improvements not now expected until the grand prix in Imola – two months away.

Following the Jeddah race and amidst whispers of Alonso’s potential switch to Mercedes in 2025, both he and his seasoned ally Pedro de la Rosa have pressed for continuous upgrades to the car throughout this year’s many races.

De la Rosa, serving as a team ambassador, conveyed to DAZN the team’s ambition to avoid stagnation with their car’s performance, stating, “The team’s objective is not to race with the same car for two races in a row. There is no improvement plan for Australia, but they are in the oven.”

Nonetheless, it has been revealed that significant upgrades won’t be available for the upcoming overseas races in Japan, China, and Miami either.

Mike Krack, the team principal, expressed the team’s eagerness for ongoing development, as reported by Spanish media, “We really want to keep developing this car continuously, without waiting too long. So over the course of the next events there will be changes, starting in Imola.”

With the Imola race marking this season’s first European event in mid-May, the clock is ticking for Alonso to decide on his future with Aston Martin for 2025.

Krack acknowledged Alonso’s autonomy over his career decisions, noting, “It is not a secret that he wants to be the one who decides his future, and it is not a secret that we want to continue working with Fernando. But the important thing is that we give him a fast car so that he believes in the team and the project because it is normal for a driver like him to be attractive to all teams.”

He further hinted at imminent discussions, emphasizing the team’s efforts to retain Alonso, “Everything else will be discussions for the coming weeks, but we will try to keep him. He is not just a talent because of his driving and skill, which is indisputable. But he brings something extra to the team to push and motivate everyone and to lead by example.”

Krack urged patience in assessing Aston Martin’s new model for 2024, “It is a good base but we have only seen it in the tests and two grands prix that have also been at night. There is a lot of learning ahead.”

Contrarily, former F1 driver Ralf Schumacher suggested Alonso, at 42, should consider concluding his career, therefore providing opportunities for younger talents, as quoted by Marca sports newspaper, “Let’s see if this vicious circle can be broken so that young drivers have a chance again. Alonso is 42 years old and still active. I have nothing against Fernando, but the objective of F1 is not to have an increasingly older grid.”

GMM

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