Fernando Alonso has dismissed
claims that his impending move to Aston Martin for 2023 was part of a
conspiracy to inconvenience Alpine.
Despite seeming set to sign a
contract extension with Alpine for 2023, Alonso took many in the F1 paddock by
surprise earlier this month when it was announced that he would instead be
moving to Aston Martin to replace the retiring Sebastian Vettel.
Alpine then moved swiftly to promote reserve driver Oscar Piastri
to a race seat, replacing the Spaniard.
just two hours after Alpine’s statement confirming Piastri, the Australian released a statement
of his own saying that he would not be driving for Alpine in 2023.
Piastri is now being heavily linked with a seat at McLaren for
2023, and with the Australian being managed by ex-F1 racer Mark Webber – with whom
Alonso shares a good rapport – there had been suggestions that Alonso and his
manager Flavio Briatore had manipulated the situation to sabotage Alpine.
Alonso upset by “conspiracy” stories
Asked whether this was the case, Alonso
issued a firm denial, saying that Aston Martin had contacted him when Vettel
announced his retirement.
“Not at all. I read that in the
first days and honestly it was quite sad and annoying to read that conspiracy,
because I made this decision,” Alonso said in response to a question from RacingNews365.com.
“For some months, I had been chatting with the team about
extending the contract, but nothing officially arrived and nothing officially
happened, and Aston called me after Sebastian retired.
“If Sebastian had continued, this
would probably not have happened, the move to Aston.
“There were very clear and very
easy decisions from my side, and what happened after and what is happening with
Oscar, is completely not my thing.”
Alonso: Alpine will always be in my heart
The Spaniard also paid tribute to Alpine, with whom he won his two World Championships in 2005 and 2006 when the team was badged as Renault.
“Oscar is an incredible talent for any team, for Alpine,” said Alonso.
“I’ve been working with him for now two years and I wish him the best and also the best for Alpine, because it’s going to be my team this year, but it’s going to be my team always in my heart, because we achieved things that were unthinkable when we started the relationship.
“I came back to the sport also thanks to Alpine, so I only wish the best for them, and those comments that I read were sad to read.”