If Aston Martin choose not to give Fernando Alonso his post-F1 career “wish”, then all other nine teams would surely love to do so.
Although Alonso is just embarking on his exciting chapter with Aston Martin, scoring four podium finishes across the opening five grands prix, the 41-year-old two-time World Champion admits that he is into his final years of competing in Formula 1.
Of course his current form, leading Aston Martin’s unlikely charge as current ‘best of the rest’ behind runaway leaders Red Bull, proves that Alonso still has plenty more to give out on the track, but when all of that energy is used up, he ponders how he could still be of service off the circuit.
And so, with a Formula 1 career which spans over 20 years, Alonso is very much open to using all of that experience to help the Aston Martin team behind the scenes once his driving days are done, alongside a return to the Dakar Rally, in which he made his debut back in 2020.
Asked by Sky Sports F1 pundit Martin Brundle if we really are coming towards the end of this storied career, Alonso replied: “I think so. I think a few more years in Formula 1 for sure. Because I feel fresh, I feel fast. I feel motivated.
“After the two years out of the sport I think I reset things and I’m 100% again focused.
“But I know that I’m at the end of my career, and I don’t know if it’s going to be two years, three years, four years or whatever they are, and after that, I think I will maybe try Dakar, it was an experience that I really enjoyed and it doesn’t need maybe a preparation or commitment like Formula 1.
“And maybe link somehow to Formula 1. I’m enjoying my time in Aston Martin, I’ve known Lawrence [Stroll, team owner] for many years, and maybe I can be a help for the team in the future after 20 plus years in the sport. I can have maybe some knowledge that can help the team.”
Alonso moved to clarify that this is just a thought in his head at this stage, rather than a specific role that has been discussed in mind, but he would open up this thought to all 10 teams on the grid, rather than it being exclusive to Aston Martin.
“I don’t know exactly the role of it and it’s just in my imagination, maybe it’s not even possible,” he continued.
“But I will feel that if I’m at home sitting in front of the TV, watching the races, maybe I can give something to any team and that will be probably my wish.
“And parallel to that, I may do a few Dakars and maybe have fun behind the wheel.”
Alonso would then delve deeper into his reasons for wanting to return to Dakar, beyond the fact that he feels less preparation is needed than in the world of Formula 1.
As well as his two F1 titles, during his two-season sabbatical from the series, Alonso became a two-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner in 2018 and 2019, as well as a World Endurance Championship victor.
So, with the F1 and endurance racing boxes ticked, Alonso said winning in rally as well would be an “unprecedented” achievement.
“I think it’s the opposite thing of Formula 1,” Alonso suggested of the Dakar Rally. “That’s why it’s attractive to me.
“And after winning Le Mans 24 Hours or Daytona or experiencing the Indy 500, I think if one day by luck you win Dakar, that would be unprecedented to win in Formula 1, in endurance and then in rally, so that’s why it’s appealing.”
There is one event out of those he mentioned which Alonso is not too keen on returning to though, that being the Indianapolis 500.
After three prior entries into the event, Alonso does not believe he will have the urge to take that challenge on again after his Formula 1 days, citing the level of commitment required, as well as the “danger factor” of racing around ovals.
Put to Alonso by Brundle that the Indy 500 is there begging him to win it, Alonso replied: “Yeah, it’s there, but I think the commitment it has to be really high and 100 percent. There is a danger factor as well.
“So when I stopped Formula 1 to commit to Indy 500, the month of May there, and then those cars, I think small details can make a big difference there and I’m not maybe up to speed or not as prepared as they are and I have to admit that.
“So if I want to win Indy 500 I need [a] few attempts and maximum commitment and run a few ovals before the Indy 500.
“So I think when I stop Formula 1 this time, maybe I don’t want that commitment.”
Alonso’s immediate commitment is the upcoming Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola, a venue where he tasted victory back in 2005 as part of his first title-winning year.