Bringing You the Daily Dispatch

Fernando Alonso ends Mercedes talk as he extends Aston Martin deal
F1 Sport

Fernando Alonso ends Mercedes talk as he extends Aston Martin deal

Fernando Alonso will remain with Aston Martin beyond this season after signing a new “multi-year” deal with the British-based Formula One team. Double world champion Alonso, 42, had been linked with Mercedes and Red Bull – as possible replacements for Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen respectively.

However, Aston Martin announced on Thursday that the Spanish driver, whose current deal had been due to expire at the end of the year, has agreed a contract extension.

“I am here to stay,” said Alonso via an Aston Martin press release. The team did not specify the exact length of the new deal.

The team principal, Mike Krack, said: “Securing Fernando’s long-term future with Aston Martin is fantastic news. We have built a strong working relationship over the last 18 months and we share the same determination to see this project succeed.

“We have been in constant dialogue over the last few months and Fernando has been true to his word: when he decided he wanted to continue racing, he talked to us first. Fernando has shown he believes in us, and we believe in him. Fernando is hungry for success, driving better than ever, is fitter than ever, and is completely dedicated to making Aston Martin a competitive force.

“This multi-year agreement with Fernando takes us into 2026 when we begin our works power unit partnership with Honda. We look forward to creating more incredible memories and achieving further success together.”

Alonso, who has won 32 F1 races, will this season become the first driver to take part in 400 grands prix. Both Mercedes, searching for a replacement for the Ferrari-bound Hamilton, and Red Bull – with Verstappen said to be unsettled at the scandal-hit team – had been tracking Alonso’s next move.

However, the Spaniard will enter into at least a third season with Aston Martin, with the team’s ambitious owner, Lawrence Stroll, determined to turn the Silverstone-based team into championship contenders.

skip past newsletter promotion

Alonso took the last of his two world titles in 2006, and has not won a race in more than a decade. Yet he is still considered as one of the stars of the F1 field, and last year helped to transform Aston Martin from also-rans to frontrunners. He took eight podiums and finished fourth in the drivers’ championship.

After the opening four rounds of the current campaign, Alonso is eighth in the standings with a season’s best finish of fifth in Saudi Arabia.

Source: theguardian.com