Categories: F1 News

Alpine: Fernando Alonso’s age is starting to be a problem

According to Alpine F1 team principal Otmar Szafnauer, Alonso’s age played an important role in the contract offer he was given and ultimately declined to accept. Alonso finally decided to make the switch from Alpine to Aston Martin at the end of this season.

“We offered him a n plus n year deal,” said Szafnauer. “It’s hard to predict the future so we offered him the n plus n deal.”

“We discussed it with Fernando and we told him ‘Look, if you perform at the same level next year, we will of course take you again’. He could have continued driving.”

“But I think he wanted more certainty, that he wanted a longer contract apart from performance.”

“I think this was difficult, in places of n plus n, two plus n, three plus n or a three-year contract.”

According to Szafnauer, Fernando Alonso is convinced that at the age of 41 he is still performing at an absolute top level, but according to Szafnauer there comes a time for everyone when things start to slow down.

Alonso’s age is also starting to play a role in the negotiations about a contract. Szafnauer refers to the much-discussed comeback of Michael Schumacher at Mercedes.

“There comes a time when every rider’s physical condition starts to deteriorate, when you can’t do the same thing when you were younger,” said Szafnauer.

“I think it happened to Michael Schumacher too, it’s fair to say he wasn’t the same rider at 42 years old as he was at age 32 or 35.”

“That happens to every sportsman, look at cricketers. With all due respect to those who practice that sport, it’s not such a physically demanding sport but it’s all about hand-eye coordination, moving the bat correctly to within a few millimeters.”

“Even the best cricketers can’t do it at 32, 33 or 34 years old. And that’s because something happens to them. The same happens with racing drivers.”

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