"We offered Fernando the maximum of what we could"- Here's how Alpine's Oscar Piastri plan led to Fernando Alonso's departure

F1 Grand Prix of Italy
Fernando Alonso during the F1 Grand Prix of Italy. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Fernando Alonso is in his final season at Alpine. The Spaniard decided to switch to Aston Martin, replacing four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel, who is retiring at the end of the season.

Alpine had a master plan to keep both Fernando Alonso and Oscar Piastri, the 2021 Formula 2 champion. However, they lost both drivers in a span of two months.

Alpine boss Laurent Rossi revealed the team wanted to keep Alonso. Nonetheless, they could not offer a contract for more than two years as they had Oscar Piastri for the next three years. The French team boss revealed they offered the Spaniard a one-plus-one contract and a further opportunity to race in the Endurance series after two years. Rossi said:

"We really wanted to keep him. But we couldn't commit for more than two years because with Piastri we had an option over three years. In the long term, it was always clear to us that we had to focus on the future. And the future was called Oscar."
"We offered Fernando the maximum we could. That was a one-plus-one contract. He could have raced endurance races for us after two years. That was the plan. We wanted to keep the man of the present and secure the man of the future."

Fernando Alonso wanted a commitment of at least two years. Alpine were not ready considering the Spaniard is 41 years old. Rossi revealed:

"The slump can come from one year to the next at this age. So we couldn't commit ourselves for so long."

Fernando Alonso "got an offer elsewhere on better terms" according to Alpine boss

Laurent Rossi also talked about how Fernando Alonso got a better offer somewhere else and decided to move with his best interests in mind. Rossi revealed that Alpine were not resentful of his move to Aston Martin. Rossi said:

"I can only assume that he got an offer elsewhere on better terms and decided to do so. We are sad about this, but not resentful. It is his right to choose something else. We are parting ways for the better and know that Fernando will do his best until the end of the season."

Fernando Alonso will go down as a legend of the sport irrespective of how this season or the following seasons turn out.

Heading to Singapore, the Spaniard is ninth in the drivers' standings, chasing a seven-point deficit to his teammate, Esteban Ocon.

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Edited by Nicolaas Ackermann