The term ‘soap opera’ is the most appropriate to explain the end of the relationship between Fernando Alonso there Alpine. The Asturian driver gave a swerve to what seemed like an already agreed renewal, even though what seemed like a few last fringes turned into an impossible stone to move.
Alonso’s signing by Aston Martin It was a blow for the Anglo-French team. So much that Otmar Szafnauer, one of the great culprits that the Spaniards changed their tuneclaims to have learned from the press release Aston Martin, like 99% of fans and even journalists (this time there were no leaks). Hours earlier, according to the Romanian, Alonso assured him he hadn’t signed anything.
Szafnauer is hurt by Alonso’s mannerisms as he considers the Spaniard to have acted behind his and the team’s backs while publicly saying that IThe renewal was going to be resolved “in a 10-minute conversation”.
What the alpine team leader, who is now left to the feet of the media horses, does not explain is how he got to a point where his pilot does not pick up the phone vacationing on a yacht around the Greek islands as the hurricane passes.
The ridicule of Alpine with Piastri
Although the rupture is due to many factors, the first is neither economic (Alonso’s life is more than resolved), nor the duration of the contract (Alonso wanted a 1+1 with the possibility of continuity and Alpine him offered a closed 1+1). Although these two factors have influenced Alonso missed them giving him a little more affection. Relationships need to be cared for: it’s not enough to say “I love you” if there are no accompanying gestures, such as a gift for no reason or a simple “I’m so proud of you”.
Szafnauer is the main culprit in this regard. As the start of the season was particularly complicated to the point that Alonso did not achieve more than two points until the sixth race of the season, the team manager left ambiguous messages about his future and put Oscar Piastri into the equation, despite showing absolutely nothing in Formula 1. Luca de MeoCEO of the Renault group, has further inflamed tempers by leaving Alonso’s future very much in suspense.
To spice it up, Alpine’s bet with Piastri went wrong at the last minute. According to the portal ‘The Race’the Australian had a clause in his tester contract that the team had to find him a starting seat for 2023 before the end of Julydate from which he could talk to other teams without Alpine being able to exercise a “right of preemption”.
While Alonso and Aston Martin announced their agreement, dated August 1, Alpine also risked losing their great candidate to replace him. all this with Mark WebberAlonso’s good friend, leading Piastri’s negotiations as his representative.
Barely 30 hours after Aston Martin announced Alonso, Alpine (Szafnauer) made a move: a statement to announce Piastri as Alonso’s replacement… which the driver himself later denied. “I’m not going to race for Alpine next year”condemned in the tweet.
It didn’t take long for fan memes to appear, with other drivers, journalists and even other teams laughing at how ridiculous Alpine (Szafnauer) was playing.
The management of the team was so disastrous that they went from having three drivers for two seats to being without Alonso and without Piastri , and also forced to sign outsiders. A candidate is Daniel Ricardo, that a season to forget is brewing with McLaren (a team the aforementioned Piastri could join) and that he left Renault through the back door and in very bad manners.
Quoting this one: the worse, the better.
Alonso felt slighted. It is no coincidence that since these words from De Meo, who had been one of his main supporters, the Spaniards has chained eight consecutive points in Grand Prixquite a statement of intent when negotiating with the Strolls to join Aston Martin.
But beyond the personal relationships between Alonso and the team members, Alpine did not keep its promises. The double Asturian champion had several offers to return to Formula 1 in 2021 and accepted that of his former Renault team because they told him that the project, what later became known as “The Plan”, guaranteed him to have a winning car in two years maximum. If the progression from the first races of 2021 to the end was remarkable, with a podium included for the Spaniard and a victory in Hungary for Stephen Oconthe 2022 car did not change the team’s “status quo”.
They are still behind the big favorites and the promised fight for the podiums has not taken place and does not seem to take place. What Alonso will have seen in the development of the 2023 car who didn’t even wait for the summer to rethink his destiny.
And now what?
Fernando Alonso’s “betrayal” at Alpine (This is the story building from the team) put the Spaniard in a very difficult position by the end of the year. There are 10 Grands Prix left and the driver will in no way be involved in the development of not only this year’s car, but also that of 2023.
Alpine will remove it from any technical meeting, as usual, they will go up to Piastri in some free practice sessions at Alonso’s car so he can wrestle, if he is ultimately chosen and they resolve the contract situation. He also won’t create new pieces before Ocon or, if he does, it will be up to him to play the role of “tester”: if they work, they will be mounted on the French.
Due to the evolving situation, Alonso can take it for granted that they don’t put scrap parts on his Alpine in the remaining races of the season.