As we all know by now, this week has been alight with whispers of a dramatic Formula 1 shakeup involving none other than legend Fernando Alonso, despite his firm contract to stay at Aston Martin in 2024 at least. The rumour mill, however, has been churning out tales of potential retirement for the 42-year-old, or a perhaps even more sensational seat-swap with Red Bull’s struggling Sergio Perez. However, a familiar figure from Alonso’s long-time inner circle has stepped forward to set the record straight.
Pedro de la Rosa, a former F1 driver and a long-time friend and colleague of Alonso, spoke in defense of the driver’s commitment to Aston Martin. The two have a shared history, having worked together at McLaren and Ferrari, and they are now reunited at Aston Martin with de la Rosa serving as an ambassador.
Addressing the rumours head-on during an appearance on the Movistar Plus program “Vamos Sobre Ruedas,” de la Rosa stated unequivocally, “Fernando is an Aston Martin driver.”
He continued: “He is a very important asset for us and nothing is going to change.”
De la Rosa, 52 and also Spanish, expressed his bewilderment at the speculation, questioning both the source and the intent behind the speculation. “I don’t know where these rumours came from – I don’t know the source or what the objective is. Now is not even the right time – the ‘silly season’ is already over,” he said.
“I repeat that Fernando Alonso is an Aston Martin driver and the only objective is to focus exclusively on the three remaining races that are very important for next season,” he affirmed.
With a reassurance reflecting his long friendship and working relationship with Alonso, de la Rosa concluded, “So don’t worry – Fernando is staying.”
But as is usually the case in Formula 1, rumours are hard to stop once they’re in the wild. And given Alonso’s bad mood in Mexico last week, the speculation is not complete without mentioning swirling rumours surrounding team owner Lawrence Stroll’s potential disheartenment with Formula 1 and the challenges faced by his son, Lance. The speculation has even extended to a possible majority sale of the team to title sponsor Aramco.
Team boss Mike Krack acknowledges the difficulties, stating, “Lawrence is not happy, but we are not happy either. Nobody is happy.”
Krack also touched upon Alonso’s uncertain state of mind, acknowledging the mercurial racer’s dissatisfaction. “He has won more than 30 races and has two titles, so if he’s spinning then something is wrong. He is not happy so we have to give him a better car,” he admitted.