SportF1Alonso wants to wait until after the break to...

Alonso wants to wait until after the break to talk to Alpine

Two-time Formula 1 world champion Fernando Alonso returned to the grid in 2021 with Alpine, after taking a two-year break from the championship to explore other areas of motorsport, such as the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Indianapolis 500 and the Dakar Rally.

At 40 , and about to turn 41, the Spaniard is the oldest rider on the grid, but has made clear his intention to continue racing beyond this year, when his current contract with Alpine expires.

His team-mate Esteban Ocon is already under a long-term contract, so Alonso’s seat is the only one that could be left free next year, should Alpine want to change their line-up.

The big problem for the French team is that, in addition to having a veteran who wants to continue, they have one of the most promising youngsters in F1 in their ranks. Oscar Piastri , reigning Formula 2 champion, is eyeing a grid slot for 2023 and looks set to drive for Williams under a loan deal.

Alpine boss Otmar Szafnauer said on Saturday morning at Silverstone that the team had not “started talking in detail” with Alonso about his future, but would do so “just after the break”, which takes place in August. .

Alonso confirmed that he had a similar timeframe in mind for the talks and that he would be happy to wait until after the summer break, especially considering how tight the category’s calendar is in July, when four grands prix will be played. in five weekends.

“Until now, well, we haven’t started any negotiations,” Alonso said on Saturday after qualifying.

“My objective, as I have said before, is to continue, but yes, until the summer break, I want to concentrate [on the races]”.

“This month of July we have four races and I need to score points, because in the first nine races I haven’t had much luck.”

Fernando Alonso, Alpine A522

Alonso recorded his best result of the 2022 season at the British Grand Prix, crossing the finish line in fifth place after closely following Sergio Pérez, Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc in their fight for the podium in the closing laps.

Discussing when the talks with Alonso would take place in post-race remarks, Szafnauer said roughly “after the summer we should have a talk and [make] a decision” on what to do beyond this year.

“Because the season ends so late, in the old days, when we finished in October, the silly season was a bit earlier,” said Szafnauer, referring to the time of year when transfer and renewal rumors surface.

“But right now we’re not going to get to December, but we’re not too far away either. It’s a good time.”

Asked if there is anything that could lead Alpine not to keep Alonso, Szafnauer replied: “I haven’t thought about it, but it’s a good question.”

“He’s driving brilliantly and qualifying well, running well. That’s what it’s really about. But let’s think about it.”

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