Alonso: Committing to Aston was ‘easy’ decision

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Fernando Alonso has admitted he had preliminary discussions with other Formula One teams before making the “easy” decision to pledge his future to Aston Martin through to 2026.

Alonso’s new multi-year deal, confirmed on Thursday, will keep him racing in F1 until at least age 45.

The future of the two-time world champion has been subject to intense speculation ever since Lewis Hamilton’s 2025 move to Ferrari was confirmed earlier this year.

While Alonso was, at one point, seen as a potential replacement to Hamilton or a potential target for Red Bull, he has pledged his future to the team he joined in 2023.

“It was easy,” Alonso said on Thursday about the new deal. “I needed a few races or few weeks to really think about myself, if I was ready to commit for more years in Formula One, because the calendars are just a little bit more intense now, the car as well, the commitments.

“My love for Formula One and my love for Aston Martin didn’t change, but I just wanted this time to really speak with myself and make the decision and the commitment. Formula One takes all your time, all your energy. You have to give up basically everything in life to keep racing, and I wanted just to speak with myself if I was ready to do so.

“It was also a sense of loyalty that I wanted to express to my team, one year-and-a-half ago, we started together and we achieved so many things, some of them probably unprecedented in Formula One to reach so many highs in such a short period of time.”

Although speculation was rife, Alonso said discussions with other teams were only ever preliminary and part of the process of an F1 driver market.

“I did speak with other people as well, yes. I think it’s normal when you enter negotiations, you need to balance a little bit what is the market. You need to listen to everyone else as well. It’s just a normal procedure, and I think it’s fair to listen to all the proposals and see how the market moves. I don’t know, in my head, Aston was the logical thing for me to do.

“At the end, it was also the best and the most, I felt the most wanted in Aston Martin. All the other conversations were just light, and never came to any conclusions or something like that. Maybe more time was needed, all these kinds of things. While in Aston, it was a clear desire to work together, which was the same that I had. That’s why it came very easy.”

The deal will see Alonso race again with Honda, who he had a rocky relationship with while racing for McLaren between 2015 and 2018.

For a while it was known Honda refused to work with Alonso due to the public criticism he made during that time — Alonso went on to race with Toyota at the Le Mans 24 Hours and had to find alternative engines for the Indy 500 in 2019, when he failed to qualify for the event.

Honda left McLaren after the Alonso spell and joined Red Bull, a partnership which has yielded three straight championship seasons.

Alonso, who said he has met with Honda bosses this year, said he is excited to work with the company again.

“Honda is definitely a manufacturer that has so much success in Formula One and not [just] Formula One in the world of motorsport that is always a company that I respected, a company that it didn’t work for us in McLaren, in the years that they came to the sport.

“But right after that they fix all the problems and they are currently dominating the sport. They’ve been world champion for the last few years. So I think they will have a baseline for 2026 that is already very strong.

“We just came from Japan, special race, always a special helmet when I race in Japan, a Samurai tattoo on my back. So there are a lot of links always with Japan and in 2026 it is appealing and hopefully, after experience with McLaren Honda and the IndyCar as well, we have now the opportunity to work again together. That for me is a true pleasure.”

Alonso suggested his deal may keep him tied to Aston Martin beyond the moment he decides to stop racing in Formula One.

“It’s a lifetime project in a way for me, this is the longest contract I ever signed in my career. This is something that will keep me linked with Aston for many, many years to come. Let’s see which role, let’s see how many more years I will drive.

“But even after driving, I will use 25-plus years of experience in Formula One, plus another 10 or 15 outside F1, so nearly 40 years’ motorsport experience in the benefit of a team that gave me this opportunity now in this moment in my career.

“So, this is also very appealing for me and I’m extremely motivated for the next years to come.”

Asked if his deal meant he will be linked with Aston even after he has retired, Alonso added: “Probably, yes, but I don’t know when I will stop driving.

If I keep driving many, many, many years, I signed a contract that I will be in the car. If I stop a little bit earlier than the contract driving, I will be in a different role, yes.”

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