Alonso contract talks delayed until after summer break

Henry Valantine
Fernando Alonso and Otmar Szafnauer chat. Bahrain March 2022.

Fernando Alonso confirmed he has not yet started negotiations with Alpine over a new contract, wanting to see out the busy July schedule before doing so.

Team principal Otmar Szafnauer previously stated that a decision over Alonso’s future would begin to take shape from the British Grand Prix weekend onwards, but with four races in five weekends to navigate, he and Alonso have decided to delay their conversations until the current run of races ends.

Alonso has spoken on multiple occasions about his desire to stay in Formula 1 beyond the end of the year, but has the looming figure of Formula 2 champion Oscar Piastri waiting in the wings, should Alpine decide to go in another direction.

“So far we have not started any negotiations,” Alonso said after qualifying at Silverstone, per the French edition of Motorsport.com.

“My objective, as I have said sometimes, is to continue, but until the summer break I want to focus: this July we have four races, and I need to score points because I was a bit unlucky in the first nine.”

Szafnauer agreed with Alonso’s plans to talk later about his future, as there is more time than in previous years for Alpine to choose their driver line-up with the expansion of the Formula 1 calendar in recent years.

“After the summer we should have a conversation and make a decision,” Szafnauer said.

“Because the season lasts so late… back then, when we finished in October, the silly season was a bit earlier. But now we continue not until December but not far. It’s good timing.”

Alonso has looked as fast as ever so far this year, having started on the front row in Canada after an excellent qualifying lap in the wet, but he still trails Esteban Ocon in the standings after his aforementioned “unlucky” start to the year.

“I haven’t thought about it, but it’s a good question,” Szafnauer replied when asked if there were any circumstances in which he would not keep the two-time World Champion at the team.

“He’s driving brilliantly and doing good qualifying and racing. That’s what really matters. But we’ll think about it.”

With the Spaniard’s standing in the sport, it’s unsurprising that his services do not come cheaply, and Szafnauer added that the team will look at the bigger picture about what their next steps will be.

“We will decide with all these factors,” he said. “Good information to make a good decision.”