Verstappen’s verdict: Why signing Alonso would be ‘strange’

Fernando Alonso appears on the verge of signing a new contract with Aston Martin, indicating his future with the team could extend beyond 2024. In recent developments, the twice-crowned F1 champion has shown a remarkable resurgence in performance, sparking speculation about possible switches to heavyweight teams like Mercedes or Red Bull.

Despite the swirling rumors, Alonso openly dismissed any likelihood of joining Red Bull next year, given Max Verstappen’s continued presence, categorically stating his chances as “zero” at the Suzuka circuit.

Verstappen himself has openly pondered the oddity of Red Bull welcoming Alonso aboard, expressing indifference towards his teammate selections. “I don’t care who sits next to me and I’ve said that to the team,” he remarked to De Limburger newspaper, confidently adding, “I always believe in myself and in my opinion I am the boss of everyone.”

The Dutch driver, aged 26, further elucidated at Suzuka, “But if you ask me, I would find it strange to sign a 42-year-old driver. Red Bull has always had the tradition of training young drivers itself.” He acknowledged the unusual nature of Sergio Perez’s signing, emphasizing his harmonious relationship with Alonso but also considering the team’s future trajectory. “Ultimately it is up to them to determine who drives where,” Verstappen concluded.

For Alonso, his aspirations lie not with any specific team, but rather in achieving victories and championships once again. His confidence in Aston Martin’s capability to fulfill these ambitions is growing, underlined by his claim of the team’s unparalleled ambitious vision. “There is no other team in the pitlane that has such ambitious plans as us,” Alonso told Auto Motor und Sport, noting the doubled workforce and the advent of a state-of-the-art factory. “Since last summer, we have been working in our new, ultra-modern factory,” he shared, with anticipation for the wind tunnel and simulator’s completion by year’s end. “We are now in the middle of the upgrade race, where last year, we hardly took part in that at all. These are all good signs and an important step towards becoming a winning team.”

Alonso revealed his priorities, stating, “And that’s why I will speak to Aston Martin first if I decide to continue,” signaling his first allegiance to the team in any future negotiations.

Christian Horner, Red Bull’s team principal, while in Japan, assured Sky Italia of Verstappen’s commitment to the team for 2025 and beyond, being “100 percent” certain of his stay. Regarding Perez’s future, he highlighted the driver’s solid start to the season but left his fate open-ended, remarking, “He has started the season well. His contract expires at the end of the year and it’s up to him to keep or lose that seat.”

GMM

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