F1’s Messi: Why Aston Martin can’t afford to lose Alonso

The future of Fernando Alonso always seems to be stirring interest and speculation in Formula1. Mike Krack, the team boss, recently addressed the possibility of extending Alonso’s Aston Martin contract beyond 2024, sparking discussions and opinions within the F1 community.

Krack initially indicated a desire to keep Alonso on the team but later clarified the complexity of such a decision. Speaking to the Spanish broadcaster DAZN in Abu Dhabi, Krack emphasized the collaborative nature of contract decisions at Aston Martin. “Obviously it’s not a decision I make alone,” he said, referencing the involvement of key figures like Lawrence Stroll and Martin Whitmarsh. Despite this, Krack expressed admiration for Alonso’s current form and dismissed concerns about his age. “I think Fernando Alonso’s age is just a number,” he stated, likening Alonso to enduring sports legends like Roger Federer and Valentino Rossi.

Krack also reflected on the unique mindset that sets Alonso apart from other drivers. “I’ve worked with drivers who were not even 30 and said ‘I have achieved everything’, even though they had not really achieved much,” he observed. In contrast, Alonso’s “great mentality and enormous determination” make him a standout figure in the sport.

The sentiment around Alonso’s value to Aston Martin is echoed by others in the F1 community. Pedro de la Rosa, Alonso’s friend and former colleague, now an ambassador for Aston Martin at the grands prix, is unequivocal in his support. “Yes, yes, yes, and yes for every year he asks for,” de la Rosa said with a grin, showcasing his firm belief in Alonso’s continued prowess.

Toni Cuquerella, an experienced former F1 engineer, concurs with this view. He analogizes Alonso’s significance to having a talent like Messi on a football team. “You have something that is working, it is perfect, who cares about age because he’s still so fast,” Cuquerella said, stressing the irrelevance of age in the face of Alonso’s performance. His rhetorical question, “Would you renew him? I’d say ‘Are you stupid or what?'” underlines the perceived obviousness of the decision to retain Alonso.

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