Fernando Alonso affirms confidence in Aston Martin and Honda

Jaden Diaz
12 Apr, 2024

The Formula 1 drivers market came alive today thanks to the renewal of Fernando Alonso, who has signed a multi-year agreement with Aston Martin, awaiting the new regulations and Honda’s official return to the grid. The two-time world champion has always given absolute priority to the Silverstone team, with which he will race at least until the 2026 season, despite the contract being even longer. The Asturian explained this in a press conference to some selected media, including Formu1a.uno.

Fernando, was it a difficult decision?
ALONSO: “No, in fact, it was easy. I don’t think much has changed since we talked about my possible renewal at the launch of the car last February. I just had to decide whether to continue and commit myself to Formula 1 for more years. My love for Aston Martin has never changed. But first, I wanted to talk to myself and make a decision because F1 requires all my time and energy. You have to give up everything to run and I had to ask myself if I was still ready to do it. Once that was decided, the choice was then simple. I think I decided that after Australia or so. I then sat down with the team, which, as I had already said, was my priority. I’m excited to continue them. We both wanted to close this deal, and it was easy. There has also been a sense of loyalty to Aston Martin, and it is not yet time to close this chapter together.”

What were the reasons that pushed you to renew?
In the first conversations, I was very clear with them; the interesting part of this project is really everything we are building, like the new campus last year and the wind tunnel this year. Then there are the new regulations and Honda as a new partner, for me they are all very important things. Honda and Aramco are the biggest and best partners in the world. There are very talented people within the team who will benefit from the new facilities at Silverstone. All things that have made Aston Martin attractive with a view to 2026. However, we are not just talking about that season but also about the rest. In a way, this is the longest contract of my career. It will keep me tied to Aston Martin for many years to come. Let’s then see in what role, based on how many years, I still want to drive. When I stop, I will use my 40 years of experience, 25 in Formula 1 and 15 outside this world, to help a team that has given me this opportunity at this moment in my career. But now I’m motivated for the next few years on the track.”


What excites you about the partnership with Honda and their Power Unit program?
ALONSO: “Honda is a manufacturer that is very successful in F1 and also outside of F1. When they came back, it didn’t work with McLaren, but they sorted out the problems and are currently dominating and have been champions for the last few years. They will have a solid baseline for 2026, and I know what they are capable of at Sakura. I was there in 2014-2015-2016, not recently, but I know everyone is motivated. It will be interesting to use sustainable fuels, and we have an excellent partner like Aramco on our side. I see a win-win situation. I also respect Japanese culture a lot; we just returned from Suzuka, and I always wear a special helmet there. I have a Samurai tattoo on my back and lots of things that recall Japan. “

How important was it to renew early also given the current market situation?
ALONSO: “I’m curious to see what questions there will be in China [laughs]. Apart from that, I had already said in Jeddah that I was out of all these movements and rumours on the market. I would have decided my future at my own pace without having anything imposed on me. I had to decide whether to continue, then I would have spoken to Aston Martin first, and so it was. I didn’t get involved in the rumors, I didn’t wait for anyone. For better or worse I would have decided my fate. I’m happy to continue travelling, even making some sacrifices, but I’m fine, and physically, I feel at my best. I am motivated and happy to have reached an agreement with Aston Martin.”

When you talked about other teams, did you mean Red Bull and Mercedes? The new contract will see you be in F1 at 45, this has never happened in the modern era, what do you think?
ALONSO: “I won’t go into the specifics of the teams I spoke with. I don’t think this is important. Today is my renewal day with Aston Martin. I think it’s normal that we also talk to other teams. You inform yourself to know the various situations, even if they are perhaps not very interesting, but it is to have a better understanding of the situation. And so it was. My priority has always been Aston Martin. Around 45? Yes, they are a good number. If one day I no longer feel fit or fast, we have a very honest relationship with Aston, and I would be the first to raise my hand and say maybe I’ve missed something or find solutions together, but I don’t think that will happen in the next few years. In Japan, as mentioned, I think I had one of my best races ever. And Lewis will also be turning 40 in January, so at least he won’t be the only one 40 and older. “


You’ve always said that Aston Martin has priority, but were you also looking for reassurances from them?
ALONSO: “Yes, but it didn’t just depend on one match, but on the whole context. The pre-season, the photo shoots, the videos, the car launch and all these things that take up a lot of energy, especially for someone like me, at this stage of my career. I then asked to let me see how I would deal with this period of things regarding marketing, time zones regarding the calendar, long trips and more. If I felt I didn’t like it anymore, I would have thought about not continuing. If, however, this period would pass without problems, I told myself that I wanted to continue, and this was the first thing I wanted to clarify to myself. Then I certainly wanted to see how the car was going. You know it can happen that there is no progress, the team doesn’t improve, and therefore, I can look elsewhere, but that hasn’t been the case. We’re not close to Red Bull yet, but we’re not that far away. There will be races in which we will do better and others less. We have already introduced new things and at every race we had something and this was encouraging to see; the team is making progress. In F1, you can never be fast enough. However, only 18-22 months ago, we were in a very small building, and now we are fighting for half a tenth with Ferrari and, Mercedes and the other top teams. I see the ambition of this project, and I want to be part of it. “

Was there a time when you thought about quitting?
ALONSO: “No, I don’t think it ever occurred to me. It’s hard to think about my life without a steering wheel in my hands, it will never happen or at least not in the short term.”

How long is this contract for? And what do you foresee for the next few years? ALONSO: “I don’t know, let’s say that for sure I will drive in 2025 and 2026. I can’t predict when I will stop and retire. One of the reasons that pushed me to stay, as already mentioned, is to work with Honda and the new regulation. It will still take years to grow and I will do my best to bring Aston Martin to victory, but I will be happy even if they get them without me on the track, but in another role, in the future. “


Have you signed a contract even beyond your career on the track?
ALONSO: “Possible, but I don’t know when I’ll stop yet. I have a car to drive, and if I can do it for many more years, I will, but if I have to stop before that, I will certainly remain in a different role.”

How do you know that two years from now, you will still be motivated? What pushed you to sign a contract of this type?
ALONSO: “I can’t be 100% sure about the future, but I feel like I love driving too much, and I can’t stop now. The sacrifices are less than the joy I feel and the passion I have. I breathe Formula 1. I train, eat and do everything to be fit for F1. I don’t feel like I have to change my life yet. I love what I do. I wouldn’t be happy staying at home watching F1 because I think I can still give a lot here and do better on the track than off. My worries and shortcomings are only those of my family, but they told me to see year by year. I also talked about it with them; they will come to the races more often, and they will be in Miami now, for example, my mother, my sister and my two nieces. We will try to organize ourselves better in this respect, too.”

Did you see anything about Honda that convinced you that they can succeed?
ALONSO: “I spoke to them a few months ago but not at Suzuka. As I said, I have a great love for Japan and its culture. Their level of discipline and commitment is unmatched. I have worked with Toyota in endurance and with Honda, and they represent these qualities. In 2026, we will go into the unknown with the regulations, all of them, but if I had to choose based on sensations and feelings, I would choose our project, our engine, because they are dominating Formula 1 and have a very strong engine as we see on Red Bull and AlphaTauri (Racing Bulls). And then I think we also have the tools to be successful with new fuels.”

Besides Formula 1, is there the possibility of seeing you in other categories too?
ALONSO: “At the moment, there is only Formula 1 in my head. I think I can say that I will definitely try some different cars, and Aston Martin has, for example, the Valkyrie, which will race at Le Mans. So, it will be something that maybe I will do both behind the wheel and not. I would love to see Aston win in any category. This would help a lot the brand of which I feel part, not only of the Formula 1 part but of everything. I want the best for this brand.”




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