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Fernando Alonso

Alonso's scathing response to sacked Alpine boss

After leaving Alpine at the end of 2022, Fernando Alonso has little sympathy for the recently-ousted Otmar Szafnauer.

Alonso Britain
To news overview © RN365/Michael Potts

Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso has said that erstwhile Alpine Team Principal Otmar Szafnauer should "be quiet" considering the contrasting fortunes between the two teams in 2023.

Alonso surprised many in the Formula 1 paddock by moving from Alpine to Aston Martin for 2023 – not least Alpine, who appeared to be expecting the Spaniard to re-sign.

However, Alonso's decision has proved an astute one, as he currently sits third in the Drivers' Championship with five podium finishes to his name, with Aston Martin also third in the Constructors' standings.

By contrast, Alpine have had a difficult year and currently sit sixth in the Constructors' Championship, with Szafnauer leaving the team after the Belgian Grand Prix weekend after just 18 months at the helm.

41-year-old Alonso noted that his decision to sign for Aston Martin was influenced by its offer of a multi-year deal, as opposed to the one-year deal with options that Alpine had tabled.

Speaking to the BBC, Alonso noted his frustration at the slow pace of Alpine's contract negotiations.

"I don't think I felt disrespected, but it is true it took longer than I thought when we started conversations - I think it was in Australia back in [April] 2022 - about renewing the contract," said Alonso.

"It was just on a very slow pace, and it was not from my side. I was just ready and happy. The 2022 [Alpine] was a fast car so I was also happy with the performance and the possibilities into the future.

"So that slow pace of conversations and eventually not even putting on paper what we were writing and all these comments about the age and whatever, which they are still doing."

Alonso: Szafnauer should "be quiet"

With contrasting fortunes for Aston Martin and Alpine this year, Alonso has little sympathy for his former Team Principal Szafnauer, especially after a year in which Alpine lost the services of both Alonso and reserve driver Oscar Piastri within a matter of weeks.

"[Being slow] is the way they do things, or the way Otmar does things. Because after this year, he should be quiet. He should not talk at all," said Alonso.

"After the results of Aston Martin and the results he's achieving, he's still talking and still proud of the decision, which is incredible, amazing."

The Spaniard added that he "100%" thinks Alpine underestimated what he brought to the team.

"When you are doing the best you can every weekend, when I did so many things for [Alpine's parent company] Renault as well, you take a little bit personal when someone is doubting your performance or your age or these kinds of things," said Alonso.

"And you just want to prove even extra hard that you are in the best moment of your career. The results, they speak for themselves, and that's the best way."

F1 2023 Belgian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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