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de la Rosa: Honesty best way for Aston Martin to handle Alonso

Pedro de la Rosa is joining Aston Martin to handle its young driver programme, but believes their incoming F1 driver just wants honesty.

Pedro de la Rosa believes that if Aston Martin are "honest" with incoming Formula 1 driver Fernando Alonso, they will not have any problems. Former Grand Prix driver de la Rosa is joining Aston to oversee its driver development programme to which 2022 Formula 2 Champion Felipe Drugovich has been signed. de la Rosa will also oversee some marketing and media - and will work with Alonso who is joining the team from Alpine for next season in place of the retiring Sebastian Vettel. Alonso has a reputation within F1 of being difficult to handle - but de la Rosa, who worked with him at both McLaren and Ferrari believes Aston Martin will not have any problems.

de la Rosa on Alonso

"I don't think that Fernando is a difficult guy to handle. He's just very genuine, very honest," de la Rosa explained to media including RacingNews365.com. "The fact that English is not his native tongue sometimes make him a bit harsh when he tries to describe things. But he's very honest. "What he tells you is what he feels about the car, about the team, and how to be competitive. "As long as you always tell him exactly what's going on, and what the truth is, you will never have a problem with him. "But the moment you try to hide information or he feels that you are trying to keep some information aside, you will have problems. "He is just a very competitive individual. That's the reality. "If you are as competitive as him, you won't have any problem with Fernando."

Motivation still as high

Alonso, a 32-time Grand Prix winner has signed a two-year deal with Aston Martin - which will take him up to 43 years of age by the end of the 2024 campaign. Despite not having won a race in F1 since the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix - and only one podium (Qatar 2021) since Hungary 2014, de la Rosa feels his compatriot's motivation is as still as high as ever. "I've always said that there are possibly three drivers that are special in F1," he said. "I won’t say which names, but Fernando has always been there. "I've always said that Fernando is one of the best drivers in the history of F1, and when I said this a few years ago, everyone thought I was crazy! "But I'm still crazy because I think he's unique, and he's fully motivated: which is also a very, very, very important detail in the life of a F1 driver, especially when you get to 40 years old. "I've been there with 40 as well. So I know a bit. "That's why I think Fernando arrives in the best of his talent and his peak of performance. "He is at peace in his life, it's like racing is in his blood. "And it's simple as that: not for all of us has racing has been in our blood for as long [as Fernando's.]"

RESULTS 2024 F1 pre-season testing - Day 2