Fernando Alonso has confirmed the expectation that his contract with Aston Martin starting in 2023 will last for two years.
Although there had been a sense it was a move the Spaniard could make, the speed with which Alonso’s switch from Alpine was announced came as something of a shock.
Only four days after Sebastian Vettel revealed he would retire at the end of this season, Aston Martin informed the world Alonso would replace him – those events occurring on the day before and after the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend respectively.
It was said to be a “multi-year” contract, which obviously means a minimum of two – and with the double former World Champion now being 41 years of age, an initial two-year deal makes a lot of sense.
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It will mean the continuation of El Plan, with Alonso now offering a very simple explanation of what that mysterious term – which took on a life of its own – actually means.
Quoted by AS, Alonso said: “The plan was to come back to Formula 1.
“Those challenges were very enriching both personally and professionally. The challenge was to get back to the top, and I feel good. Now I have signed for two more years with another team.”
Of course, that means Alonso fans will not have to worry about him retiring until 2024, but even if that year marks the end of his time in Formula 1 then he is likely to be seen continuing to compete in another category.
Asked about retirement, Alonso said: “I don’t have it figured out. The sport is my life and I know I have an expiry date, but I try to enjoy it.
“When I left Formula 1 in 2018 I was mentally and physically exhausted. Since I came back, I don’t feel like that – I’m fresher.
“I don’t know how long I will go on. I will never retire from motorsport, but from Formula 1 I will retire when it stops making me happy. At the moment, it’s the opposite.”
“I always use the Dakar as an example,” he said. “If you do three or four rallies and a few tests, you can be ready even if you are quite a few years old.
“In professional sport, experience and knowledge of the body come together. You don’t know the same when you are 20 as when you are 40. Now you know which parts are harder to train, but there are things age doesn’t forgive.”