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Fernando Alonso will remain at Alpine. After indicating the extension of the link through an encrypted message on Twitter last Wednesday, Enstone’s team confirmed the retention of the two-time world champion this Thursday morning (26th), on the eve of the beginning of the weekend of the GP of Belgium. Alonso’s contract with the team would end at the end of 2021, but with the option, now exercised, of renewal for the next season.
In this way, Alpine maintains a team that combines experience and youth, as Alonso, 40 years old recently, owner of 32 wins and 97 podiums throughout his F1 career, will continue racing alongside Esteban Ocon, who turns only 25 years old on the next 17th of September. The Frenchman recently had his contract renewed until the end of 2024 and, in the last Hungarian GP, he triumphed for the first time in the category.
As Alpine wrote in a statement issued this morning, “Alonso’s experience will be critical in the final development and optimization of the chassis and power unit designed to meet the challenge of the 2022 regulations, which represent a significant opportunity for Alpine.”
Alonso’s great achievements this year that marks his return to the Worlds were highlighted by the Silverstone team, which was called Renault — the team for which Fernando was two-time champion, in 2005 and 2006 — until last year: be the decisive contribution to the victory of Ocon in Hungary as well as the many positions achieved in the restart of the Azerbaijani GP, two laps from the end of the race.
Through Twitter last Wednesday, Alonso posted the message “BTV vras nduvrg ddwa. Eno iw giadt gby awa, Q’z xwptbvrg ewqf mn ndlr!!!!”. What appeared to be just a headbang on the keyboard was actually the Vigenere code, text-encryption method.
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The message translates to “BIG news coming soon. And to tease you all, I’m tweeting this in code!”. A teammate and also guaranteed for 2022, Ocon joined in the fun.
Back on the Formula 1 grid in 2021 after two seasons away, two-time world champion Fernando Alonso occupies 11th place in the Drivers’ World Championship. There are 38 points added, with the best result in the most recent race, played in Hungary, when he was fourth.
Alonso said he was “very happy to confirm the extension of the contract with Alpine until 2022. I felt at home the moment I returned to this team and was welcomed with open arms. It is a pleasure again to work with some of the brightest minds in our sport at Enstone and Viry-Châtillon”.
“It has been a difficult season for everyone, but we have shown progress as a team, and the result in Hungary is a good example of this evolution. We’re looking for more positive memories for the rest of this season, but also crucially from next year, with the new regulation changes in Formula 1. I’m a big advocate of a level playing field and changes in the sport, and the 2022 season will be a great opportunity for that. I’m looking forward to the rest of the year and to race alongside Esteban in 2022 for Alpine,” he concluded.
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Laurent Rossi, CEO of Alpine and who recently reinforced the idea of having Alonso also in a future endurance project, celebrated the Spaniard’s stay for another season in Formula 1.
“We are delighted to confirm Fernando for next season alongside Esteban. For you, it’s a perfect pair of drivers, among the strongest on the grid. It works in an extremely complementary way, offering raw talent and speed, but also with an impeccable team spirit, which provided our first victory in Hungary”, said the executive.
“Fernando has impressed all of us since he returned to the sport earlier this year. Their dedication, teamwork and focus on getting the most out is amazing and special to witness. His performance in Hungary was another example of his pedigree and reminded everyone how talented he is. I’m sure we can heavily benefit from Fernando’s vision and experience as we enter the final phase of developing and optimizing the chassis and power unit for 2022. He’s just as hungry for success as we are and is striving to translate this into development ,” he added.
The manager reinforced the goal of taking advantage of the introduction of new rules with the revolution from 2022 so that Alpine is one of the great forces of Formula 1, but without neglecting the work following the 2021 season. “We need to focus on delivering one strong second half, getting the most out of each race and making sure we finish as high as possible in the Constructors’ World Championship. This will put us in a great position for next season, with the significant opportunity that this will bring,” concluded Rossi.
With the long-awaited renewal of the relationship with Alonso confirmed by Alpine, Formula 1 now leaves for a sequence of long-awaited announcements, such as the definitions of the pairs of Mercedes drivers, Red Bull and Alfa Romeo, in moves expected for the coming weeks.
Before, the Worlds accelerates this weekend with the Belgian GP, 12th stage of the 2021 season, in Spa-Francorchamps. O BIG PRIZE follow everything LIVE and in REAL TIME.