Fernando Alonso is keeping his options open for the future, willing to continue with Aston Martin in F1 if they can continue their impressive level of competitiveness.
Alonso’s move to Aston Martin was a shock to much of the paddock, with many suggesting the Spaniard had made another detrimental career decision.
However, the Silverstone-based squad has made unprecedented progress over the last 12 months. The AMR23 has already taken three podiums from four, much to the surprise of the grid’s established front-runners.
Other midfield teams, such as Alpine and McLaren, have also been surprised (and somewhat exposed) by Aston Martin’s rapid ascension into regular podium contention.
The question now is whether the British squad can make another step – whether in 2023 or beyond- and mount a challenge to the dominant Red Bull.
Red Bull’s RB19 is comfortably the fastest car in F1, so much so that the Austrian squad can probably shift their resources to 2024 much earlier than their rivals.
Helmut Marko has actually outlined this as one of the team’s objectives going into this year – in an effort to mitigate the impact of restricted wind tunnel time.
Returning to Aston Martin, Fernando Alonso is more than satisfied with his team’s impressive start. The question is how much further they can go:
“At the moment, I have two years where I have to see things and develop things with the team, but the reality is that we are in a far better position than we thought,” he told MARCA in an interview.
“We thought we would fight for podiums in 2024, and we’ve already done it three times this year.
“Things are going better than what we expected, and that tends to mean being tempted to sign a contract extension in the future.
“But there is also a temptation to finish well and with a smile on your face. I do not know exactly, honestly…
“We think in 2024 we can have a chance, and in 2025 we can have another chance as well.”
Given that Aston Martin has produced Fernando Alonso with his best F1 machinery in a decade, it seems reasonable to expect the Spaniard to stay with the team.
It must be remembered that Alonso’s biggest frustration in contract talks with Alpine was that he was never offered a multi-year deal.
With this in mind, the Double World Champion is clearly committed to staying in the sport for at least a few more seasons.
His ability also remains at an exceptionally high level, so unless there is a steep decline in the next 18 months, there is no reason Alonso cannot continue.
However, he will still be racing at 45 years old if he stays in F1 until 2025. This is not to say the Spaniard will be incapable of competing at a high level, but there will need to be a strong incentive to stay in the sport.
It seems reasonable to suggest that competing for podiums consistently can keep him in F1 for 2024 and potentially even 2025 – although fighting for a Championship would certainly be preferable.
Regardless, though there are some terms and conditions, Alonso is still looking firmly into the future of his Formula 1 career.