Horner bats away Alonso-to-Red Bull rumours

Jamie Woodhouse
Fernando Alonso, Alpine, wearing a Kimoa cap. United States, May 2022.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has shut down talk that Fernando Alonso is in contention for a switch to the team.

Despite having only two points to show for his 2022 season so far, Alonso is a driver very much in form, with that lowly points total largely a result of reliability problems and bad luck during the first four rounds.

In fact, Alonso thinks this is the most competitive he has been at the start of a Formula 1 season for a decade.

The Spaniard is out of contract at Alpine at the end of the season and although an extension is very much a possibility, rumours have been swirling suggesting Alonso could end up switching teams.

He is reportedly a target for Aston Martin should Sebastian Vettel leave at the end of the season, while during Sky F1’s coverage of FP3 in Miami ex-F1 racer Karun Chandhok said he had heard rumours that Alonso, backed by his former team boss Flavio Briatore, was pushing for a move to Red Bull.

Fernando Alonso prepares on the grid. Imola April 2022.

“There’s rumours in the paddock this morning I heard, one about Fernando potentially going to Aston Martin to take over from Sebastian Vettel,” said Chandhok.

“And another about Fernando and Flavio banging on the door at Red Bull, saying he is prepared to be a team-mate to Max Verstappen and have a good car for the last couple of years of his F1 career.”

These rumours were then put to Horner on the pit wall.

“That’s news to me!” he said.

And as for whether Alonso to Red Bull could happen, Horner ruled it out.

“We are very happy with the drivers we’ve got here,” he continued.

“Fernando’s a great driver, it’s fantastic he’s still in Formula 1 and given the plus 40 [age], he’s something to aspire to.

“But he doesn’t fit part of our plans.”

 

Horner said he keeps in touch with Briatore but repeated Alonso would not be moving to Red Bull.

He explained the team will look to drivers within their own programme but that Red Bull are very happy with the job Sergio Perez is currently doing as Verstappen’s team-mate.

“I speak to Flavio, he’s a friend, I speak with him every now and again. But no, we are very much focused on our drivers,” Horner affirmed.

“There’s plenty of time and Checo’s been doing a great job this year.”

 

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