F1 CEO makes big Fernando Alonso prediction after Madrid Grand Prix confirmation

Sam Cooper
Fernando Alonso and Stefano Domenicali

Stefano Domenicali hopes to see Fernando Alonso racing in Madrid.

F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali believes having a grand prix in Madrid will be motivation for Fernando Alonso to continue racing until 2026.

Alonso is the oldest member of the grid but despite his age, there has been little sign that his ability has fallen away since his championship-winning days.

The Spaniard is heading into the final year of his current Aston Martin contract but Domenicali is hopeful a race in his home country’s capital will entice him to stay on.

Stefano Domenicali hoping Madrid brings Fernando Alonso motivation

Alonso was born in the Northern town of Oviedo so while a true home race is currently out of the question for the Spaniard, the prospect of racing in the capital will be an interesting one for the 42-year-old.

The F1 CEO surmised as much, suggesting both Alonso and Carlos Sainz will still be racing come 2026.

“[I hope it] will be a motivation for Carlos Sainz Jr. and Fernando Alonso, to remain strong for the immediate future.” Domenicali is quoted as saying at the launch of the Madrid GP. “Racing is important, but also technology and sustainability. And the Madrid project is very innovative and imaginative.”

Alonso himself has hinted that he does not yet feel the time to hang up his helmet is near.

“Next year, I’ll see what 24 races feel like,” he told AMuS.

“If I have the feeling that I’m no longer able to perform, that I expect from myself, I will be the first to raise my hand.

“The moment has not yet come.

“When I signed with McLaren for three years in 2007, I thought: That was my last contract.”

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As for Aston Martin’s side of the arrangement, team principal Mike Krack has also hinted an extension is likely.

“To be honest with you, I always thought it was a bit honeymoon months in the beginning but I’m quite happy that we have managed to extend the honeymoon,” Krack said in Abu Dhabi.

“I think we have received a remarkable team player, constructive at all times, especially when it was difficult.

“When the car was competitive – or, more competitive – it’s obviously easier to be constructive but the true qualities came out, and let’s take this Mexico example, that both drivers, it would have been easy to take the microphones and slam the team, go against the team, and it would probably have been deserved but I think the true qualities of the team-playing character of both drivers came out in that time.

“And, for me, that is one of the highlights of the season, as a team, that we managed to stick together in that time.”

Pushed on whether he would want Alonso to stay, Krack replied: “Absolutely, yes.”

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