This week has only reinforced the idea that the rumours often race faster than the cars in Formula 1. As the Interlagos paddock comes together, speculation surrounding a potential and sensational seat swap between Red Bull’s Sergio Perez and Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso for the 2024 season is surging. However, seasoned F1 pundits are urging caution when assessing the likelihood of the dramatic move.
Aston Martin’s impressive performance at the start of 2023 had everyone talking, and not just about the car’s speed. Two-time World Champion Fernando Alonso, at 42, was all smiles and clearly in top form. Yet as the season progressed and the team’s performance severely wavered, Alonso’s spirits seemed to dip – though he insists he remains as motivated as ever. But speaking to Fox Sports Mexico, Alonso admitted, “I like being competitive, I like being fast, and I hate to lose.”
At Red Bull, Max Verstappen is having no such problems with having to cope with losing. But while he continues his dominant streak, teammate Sergio Perez is clearly struggling. Fascinatingly, Verstappen recently pointed to Alonso as a “role model” and a driver he greatly admires. Combine these elements, and you get the perfect storm for this week’s sensational swap swap rumours.
But Miguel Portillo, a respected F1 journalist for DAZN, is skeptical. “It’s crazy to put two ‘GOATS’ on the same team,” he argues, emphasising the need for clear roles and expectations within a top team. “If you don’t do that, you’re lost,” he adds, highlighting the intense desire to win that drives every F1 team and driver.
Antonio Lobato, another well-known voice in Spanish F1 commentary, echoes Portillo’s doubts. “It would be nice to bring together the two best drivers in the same team,” he concedes, speaking to Marca. “But it’s just an idea or a dream because there’s not much chance of that happening.” Lobato notes Red Bull repeated reassurances about Perez’s 2024 contract and suggests Daniel Ricciardo is the only plausable option should Perez be shunted down the pecking order.
Addressing the Alonso rumors directly, Lobato is dismissive, revealing: “There’s nothing to it. His (Alonso’s) entourage is even telling me they’re worried about the tension this could generate at Aston Martin.”