Fernando Alonso has been asked about the online rumour suggesting he and pop music superstar Taylor Swift are dating, which he was quick to brush aside, saying he was “just focused on Baku and racing” this weekend.
The lengthy hiatus in the Formula 1 season brought about an unexpected rumour online when an anonymous Instagram post spread across social media last week, suggesting the two-time World Champion and pop star were newly an item.
Naturally, the unsubstantiated speculation spread extremely quickly and Alonso’s name was trending for a different reason than he has become accustomed to as a result.
The Aston Martin driver was clearly made aware of what had been going on, posting a tongue-in-cheek response to the rumours on TikTok, which featured one of her songs, ‘Karma’, playing in the background, along with Alonso scrolling through his phone before looking up and winking at the camera.
Conversations on the topic continued after arriving in Baku ahead of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix this weekend, and when the title lyric from Swift’s hit ‘I Knew You Were Trouble’ was quoted at him in the media pen, Alonso laughed before being asked about the upcoming Formula 1 action.
“Yeah, probably,” Alonso responded to Sky Sports with a smile when asked about there being an increased level of attention on him throughout the world as a result of this rumour, before adding: “But I’m just focused on Baku and racing.
“And let’s see, obviously the new format of the weekend is extremely complex for a driver, especially on Saturday morning.
“First time you go in the car, you tighten the belts and you’re into Q1, so that will be a new thing for all of us and enough to think [about].”
On the changes coming to the paddock this weekend, Alonso was referring to the new ‘Sprint Shootout’ format that is being put in place this Saturday, as part of the sprint becoming independent from Sunday’s Grand Prix action.
The change in format will see the drivers have to jump straight into the car for a shortened version of the Q1/Q2/Q3 qualifying format to set the grid for the sprint on Saturday morning, with ‘standard’ qualifying taking place on Friday and setting the grid for the full race on Sunday.
The two-time World Champion revealed he has tried to have a trial run of what the new weekend structure will look like, and he and Aston Martin will adjust accordingly this time around.
“We only had FP1 before quali [in the old sprint format] so in a way we are used to that kind of pressure in FP1, but Saturday is the biggest difference for us at the moment,” he explained.
“I went to the simulator last week and I tried to replicate what the weekend was and tried to see the challenges, and we will try to pay more attention.
“I think we will come earlier into the track tomorrow make sure that FP1 is as simple as possible and as clear as possible.
“And on Saturday, as I said, it’s a new thing for everyone, but we will try to do our job.”