Fernando Alonso is very close to renewing with Alpine. What seemed like a very narrow road that was close to ending in a ravine has become a four-lane highway that will lead to its continuity in Formula 1.
The announcement is a matter of days, even this weekend. Circumstances have made the agreement between Alonso and Alpine practically a fact, and the likes of Motorsport.com are already assuming that it will be signed shortly. Although he had alternatives, Alonso’s first idea was to continue in the Great Circus for at least two years.
One of the direct consequences this will have is, ironically, that it will end the career of a driver who, luckily or unfortunately, has had his seat guaranteed in the competition for the last few years.
The economic contribution of Nicholas Latifi was the main argument (almost the only one) for Williams to keep him in their ranks, but the need for achievements has made those responsible for the historic team (which in 2022 for the first year the founder will not live) decide to change their strategy.
Alpine finally places Piastri
After several years as a kind of subsidiary of Mercedes, the possibility of switching to Alpine’s Renault engines appeals to them. Not so much because they are going to be better (perhaps also) but because it benefits them financially: Renault engines are cheaper.
Alpine itself is also interested in having a customer that they now lack: Renault is the only motorist that only supplies its own team. With Williams they would have a ‘laboratory’ that would give them guarantees of being able to develop improvements, as Honda (now Red Bull Powertrains), Mercedes or Ferrari have done.
Other types of compensation would also be included in the payment for the engines, such as a seat for Oscar Piastri. Here’s the key: Alpine bridges a major pothole to give its talented test driver a seat.
In the offices of the Anglo-French team they were receiving numerous pressures to place the reigning F2 champion in a seat, since it was understood to be regular for a young diamond to be ostracized as a ‘simple’ tester.
The intention of those responsible was to place him in a seat in 2023, and that is where the doubts came in: having Ocon a contract already signed until 2024, they only had to not renew Fernando Alonso. A decision that they did not want to make unless the results did not come in any way… and until recently they did not come. The start of the Spanish campaign has been to forget, although now it rains less.
Alonso, with one last contract yet to be enjoyed before retiring permanently, found himself between a rock and a hard place: he couldn’t force Alpine to sign him a renewal and he had the intention of continuing… until the ‘way was opened Williams’.
Latifi, to your house
With the talented Alex Albon, on loan from Red Bull, as a benchmark in the historic British team, Oscar Piastri as a brilliant second and the balance much healthier, Latifi’s departure becomes more bearable for the team.
The huge briefcase that has kept him in the structure since 2020 is no longer enough, since he is also in the eye of the hurricane in the last few races when he has been sanctioned for not knowing how to react to the blue lapping flags (which is what more has happened to him throughout his career), due to absurd accidents or unjustifiable loss of concentration at this point.
A constant at the bottom of the grid, consistently outperformed in each qualifying and each race by his teammates… From a sporting point of view his continuity was not justified, and now that there is a guaranteed substitute, even less so.
Latifi is expendable what will take Piastri to his first seat as a starter… and Alonso to his twentieth season in Formula 1. His ‘retired’ walks through the Asturian lands, such as the Onís or Cabrales area, up to Santina will have to expect.
Font: LB24 / 20 Minutes.