Aston Martin ambassador addresses crazy Fernando Alonso contract rumour

Thomas Maher
Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso at the 2023 Austrian Grand Prix.

Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso appearing in thought.

Pedro de la Rosa has laughed off a suggestion that’s been made about Fernando Alonso’s Aston Martin contract.

The Spaniard, a former Formula 1 driver for the likes of Arrows and HRT as well as a long-time test driver for McLaren, now works as a brand ambassador and advisor for the Aston Martin team – re-uniting him with former McLaren colleague Fernando Alonso.

Alonso has had a tremendous 2023 career resurgence with Aston Martin with six podiums from nine races – a far cry from when Alonso left F1 to take a sabbatical at the conclusion of his second McLaren tenure at the end of 2018.

Pedro de la Rosa labels Fernando Alonso rumours ‘absurd’

A far-fetched rumour has floated around over the first few months of Alonso’s arrival at Aston Martin, that the Spaniard was actually signed as a dutiful ‘number two’ driver to race alongside Lance Stroll – son of team owner Lawrence Stroll.

Alonso, when he has come up behind Stroll on track, has either chosen not to attack (as he did at the Spanish Grand Prix), or has attacked but not succeeded in getting by (as seen in the Austrian Sprint).

Asked by DAZN whether there’s any truth to the matter, De La Rosa laughed at the suggestion.

“Antonio, that’s absurd,” De La Rosa told DAZN commentator Antonio Lobato, as quoted by GrandPX.

“Sorry, it’s absurd. You’ve mentioned that before and it’s totally absurd.

“Good teamwork is being done, that’s all.”

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Fernando Alonso’s overtake attempts suspected as being disingenuous

The battle between Stroll and Alonso at the end of the Sprint race caught the attention of former Williams reserve and racer Jack Aitken, who suspected Alonso was merely putting on a show to make Stroll look good.

Speaking on the BBC Chequered Flag podcast, said he suspected Alonso’s attack on Stroll in the Austrian Sprint was more for theatrics than a genuine fight for position.

“It could well be that Alonso was playing the long game and that he didn’t want to upset anyone,” he said.

“At the end, he was doing some faux attempts, or what I think were faux attempts, he was over the back Stroll and throwing his nose here and there, driving up the outside and then pulling back.

“It didn’t really look like he was really committed to actually overtaking Stroll.

“He just kind of wanted to show, ‘Yeah look I’m here, I’m fighting my teammate. He beat me on merit!'”

F1 journalist Andrew Benson agreed with Aitken’s assessment, saying: “I agree. If Fernando Alonso wants to overtake someone, he doesn’t do that sort of thing. That’s not what he does, really, when he’s trying to pass someone.

“I think it’s like in Spain two weeks ago, he doesn’t want to unsettle things at Aston Martin as things are going swimmingly. He’s well aware that he’s going to beat Stroll nine times out of 10 but was it worth making a fight over it? I think he’s smart enough to sit there.”

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