Fernando Alonso’s Formula 1 journey has always been a fascinating ride – complete with newly-sparked fireworks with his former teammate Esteban Ocon. But beneath the drama, the two-time champion is not down about his history with Renault and Alpine, although his bold move to Aston Martin for 2023 has worked out more than nicely. And he remains committed to the sport at the ripe age of 42 and counting, ripping through recent rumours of a looming retirement.
Sparks flew when Frenchman Ocon labeled Alonso a “fuc*ing idiot” following their clash in Brazil, reminding the F1 world of their tetchy pairing at Alpine last year. So in response, Alonso didn’t hold back: “Yes, I heard what that guy said. He’s still very immature and hasn’t changed his way of seeing things, but hey, there are other things that don’t change either. He came out behind me like last year and stayed there – like last year.”
In his unfiltered remarks, Alonso also shed light on the more generic challenge of racing Alpine cars these days. “Whenever there is an Alpine you have to be extra careful.”
Yet, despite the heated moments, Alonso maintains his deep respect for his former team, which played a starring role in his two-title-winning career. In an interview with GQ magazine, he revealed, “I have a lot of respect for Alpine. It’s the team [as Renault] that gave me my two world championships, so it’ll always be in my heart.”
But make no mistake; Alonso firmly believes that his move to Aston Martin was more than the right call. With more than a hint of personal validation, he admitted, “If they’re behind you, there’s always a bit of relief that you made the right decision.”
Alonso also weighed in on his new team’s early success, acknowledging that it came as a surprise – and even stating that it was “a little bit too early” for Aston Martin’s current state of development as it ramped up the expectations.
The former champion also has Lance Stroll’s back, defending his under-fire teammate. “There were a couple of occasions where Lance lost a lot of points,” Alonso remarked. “Exhaust failure in Jeddah when he was P5; the rear-wing in Suzuka while fighting for points.”
And for those wondering about Alonso’s retirement plans at the age of 42, he put those rumours to rest as well. “I feel fresh, I feel fast, and I’m enjoying the journey with Aston Martin. It’s not the time to retire yet,” he declared.