By now it’s almost a certainty that you’ve heard the Fernando Alonso rumours swirling around the world of F1.What initially started out as a relatively vague tweet from F1 journalist, Albert Fabrega, has created a Formula 1 firestorm spawning crazy conspiracies surrounding the 2x World Champion.
Whilst these rumours has been squashed by Craig Slater on Sky’s recent episodes of their F1 podcast and Fernando Alonso himself, it’s still exciting to think about the possible opportunities that could’ve opened up should these rumours have materialised.
Alonso to Red BullEmbed from Getty Images
Now, it’s no secret that Perez’s position at Red Bull has come under constant scrutiny following the string of bad performances that have made up his 2023 season. Despite the team insisting that Perez will retain his seat for 2024, when we consider Red Bull’s ruthless past of replacing drivers, it’s not too far fetched to assume that Checo could be out of the sport soon, in spite of his contract that runs to the end of next year.
The idea of Alonso and Verstappen racing on the same team would be one for the ages. There’s no debate that neither driver would accept the title of being the number two, and it’d be very likely that Red Bull would find themselves in the same position as McLaren in 2007 and Mercedes in 2016.
So, who would win?
It’s difficult to see anyone but Max Verstappen taking the title at the moment, especially in that Red Bull team that has been built around him, however if there is anyone that could give him a run for his money it’d be Alonso.
Alonso brings with him a wealth of experience and an ability like no other. He has shown time and time again that he is able to jump into any car and extract the absolute maximum out of it from the get go, his adaptability is a key factor that has allowed him to be so consistent in any team that he has driven for, usually outdriving the cars he’s given and scoring results that can only be marvelled at.
Soon after the Red Bull rumour took off, it was followed by a complete 180 suggesting that Alonso could in fact be retiring. This would no doubt be a great loss for the world of motorsport, but a part of me couldn’t help but smirk at the irony of this, considering the chaos that took place last year following Vettel’s retirement announcement, which was largely bolstered by Alonso’s own bombshell.
The 2022 silly season saw an unexpected flurry of movement on the grid. Although this was initially orchestrated by Vettel’s announcement, Alonso was quick to drop his own revelation by announcing that he would be moving to Aston Martin in 2023, catching his former team by surprise.
The knock of effect of Alonso’s retirement could shift the grid around but I couldn’t see anything too drastic happening.
If a seat were to open up at Aston Martin, I believe it would make most sense for Yuki Tsunoda make this move. It’s unlikely that Tsunoda will take a step up to Red Bull’s main team in the near future as Ricciardo seems to be the first choice should a Perez replacement be required. As Tsunoda is already a Honda driver, it would make sense for him to partner Stroll at the team as the Japanese manufacturer is set to become the engine supplier of the Silverstone-based team in 2026.
Tsunoda’s seat would then be filled by Liam Lawson as his short stint earlier in the season proved that he is ready to take the step up, putting in impressive performances whilst he covered for an injured Daniel Ricciardo.
The future of Aston Martin looks uncertain as they have found themselves in a rapid decline, making a sharp departure from the form that they showed at the beginning of the year. In spite of this, Alonso has remained adamant that he still has faith in the team. He is determined to continue with them for next year at least, but an Alonso/Verstappen pairing will always be welcomed in the world of F1.