Fernando Alonso has been linked with a move to Red Bull following Aston Martin’s disappointing run of form; the two-time world champion says the rumours are “not funny”; watch the Sao Paulo GP live on Sky Sports F1 from Friday, with Sunday’s race at 5pm
Fernando Alonso has dismissed speculation linking him with a move from Aston Martin to Red Bull and has promised “consequences” for those behind the rumours.
Following last weekend’s Mexico City Grand Prix, rumours began to circulate on social media that Alonso could next season be paired with world champion Max Verstappen at the constructors’ champions.
Sky Sports News’ Craig Slater rubbished the reports on Tuesday’s episode of the Sky Sports F1 Podcast, and speaking ahead of this weekend’s Sao Paulo Grand Prix in Brazil, Alonso echoed that sentiment while expressing his frustration.
“These rumours are the normal paddock rumours from people that are just trying to make fun of it and gain some followers and this kind of thing, but I’m not into that game,” the two-time world champion said on Thursday.
“I don’t enjoy it (the rumours). All the rumours are coming from people that are not in this room, who are just here to make fun and I think it’s not funny when they play with anything.”
Alonso and Aston Martin’s form was the feel-good story of the opening weeks of the season as the team made a remarkable leap forward from finishing seventh in last year’s constructors’ standings to being Red Bull’s closest challenger.
Alonso finished on the podium in six of the first eight races, but the team’s form has fallen away dramatically with the Spaniard managing just two point-scoring displays in the last five Grands Prix, with retirements coming in each of the last two races.
He has fallen to fifth in the drivers’ standings, with Lando Norris and Charles Leclerc both within striking distance with three rounds of the season remaining.
Aston Martin’s poor form, which doesn’t bode well for their 2024 prospects, led some to question how willing Alonso will be to remain with the team, while Sergio Perez’s continued struggles alongside Verstappen have created a possible opening with Red Bull.
Alonso says he is annoyed by his loyalty to Aston Martin being brought into question.
“Of course, that’s the thing they are making,” he added. “But I will make sure there are consequences.”
‘We are not as competitive as we wanted’
Aston Martin’s failure this season has been failing to match the development of their rivals at the front of the grid, with Mercedes, Ferrari, McLaren – and of course Red Bull – doing a far better job of improving their cars throughout the campaign.
While Aston Martin took the opportunity of having a traditional race weekend – with three practice sessions – in Mexico to test several elements of the AMR23, Brazil hosting a third Sprint event in four Grands Prix means just one practice session before the cars go into parc ferme at Interlagos.
“We are obviously not as competitive as we wanted,” Alonso said.
“We are trying to get to our best level which is not the one we are showing now. We are analysing some of the upgrades we have brought lately.
“Here in Brazil we have a Sprint format, so maybe it’s a more traditional weekend for us and we are not experimenting as much as the last two. Obviously, we are not happy, (team principal) Mike (Krack) is not happy, no one is happy with the current form.
Alonso insists that the team’s 2023 performance must be seen as an overall success, and expects more benefits from the team’s recent move to their new Silverstone factory to come further down the line.
He added: “This team was 250 people two years ago and now are in this transition to hopefully be a contender for the future – 800 people, new factory, seven podiums this year, 200 points more than last year. All these things which are not the current format.
“We should not be happy but we cannot be too dramatic about the situation when this 2023 campaign has been a super season for us.”
When to watch the Sao Paulo GP live only on Sky Sports F1
Friday November 3
- 2pm: Sao Paulo GP Practice (session starts at 2.30pm)
- 5.30pm: Sao Paulo GP Qualifying build-up (also on Sky Sports Main Event)
6pm: Sao Paulo GP Qualifying (also on Sky Sports Main Event)
- 8pm: Ted’s Qualifying Notebook
Saturday November 4
- 1.30pm: Sprint Shootout build-up
- 2pm: Sao Paulo GP Sprint Shootout
- 5.30pm: Sprint build-up
- 6.30pm: SAO PAULO SPRINT
- 8pm: Ted’s Sprint Notebook
Sunday November 5
- 3.30pm: Grand Prix Sunday: Sao Paulo GP build-up
- 5pm: THE SAO PAULO GRAND PRIX
- 7pm: Chequered Flag: Sao Paulo GP reaction
- 8pm: Ted’s Notebook
F1 heads straight to Brazil for the final leg of the Americas triple header and the last Sprint weekend of the 2023 season. Watch every session from the Sao Paulo Grand Prix live on Sky Sports F1 from Friday, with Sunday’s race at 5pm. Stream F1 on Sky Sports with NOW