Fernando Alonso will remain at Alpine for the 2022 Formula 1 season the French team has confirmed.
The Spaniard made his F1 return this season that was originally meant to coincide with the introduction of the new regulations but due to the global pandemic, signed a one-plus-one deal to leave his options open for the future.
Now, the two-time F1 champion’s future is secure after signing an extension to partner Esteban Ocon at Alpine for the foreseable future.
“I’m very happy to confirm the contract extension with Alpine F1 Team into 2022,” Alonso said of the announcement.
“I felt at home the moment I returned to this team and have been welcomed back with open arms. It is a pleasure to work again with some of the brightest minds in our sport at Enstone and Viry-Châtillon. It’s been a tricky season for everyone, but we’ve shown progress as a team and the result in Hungary serves as a good example of this progression.
“We’re targeting more positive memories for the rest of this season but also crucially from next year onwards with the new regulation changes coming into Formula 1. I have been a big supporter of the need for a level playing field and change in the sport and the 2022 season will be a great opportunity for that. I am looking forward to the rest of this year and racing alongside Esteban in 2022 for Alpine.”
Alonso started the season slowly along with other drivers who had switched teams between the 2020 and ’21 seasons but has rapidly improved his pace alongside Ocon.
He put in what was arguably his strongest performance so far prior to the summer break at the Hungarian Grand Prix, holding a charging Lewis Hamilton at bay for 10 laps. His stellar defensive driving ultimately won his team-mate the race having delayed Hamilton for long enough to prevent him reaching his team-mate before the end.
Alpine team CEO Laurent Rossi said that Alonso’s re-signing signalled the promise Alpine has shown for the future and that Alonso’s commitment was an endorsement of what the team is hoping to achieve in the next few seasons under new regulations.
“We are very pleased to confirm Fernando for next season, partnering with Esteban,” Rossi said. “For us it is a perfect driver line-up, amongst the strongest on the grid. It works in a hugely complementary way, with both offering raw talent and speed, yet impeccable team spirit that delivered our first win in Hungary.
“Fernando has impressed us all since he returned to the sport at the beginning of this year. His dedication, teamwork and focus to extract the maximum from the team is incredible to be a part of and certainly special to witness. His performance in Hungary was another example of his racing pedigree and reminded everyone how skilled a driver he is. I am convinced we can benefit strongly from Fernando’s insight and experience as we enter the final development and optimization phase of the 2022 chassis and power unit.
“He is just as hungry as we are for success and is putting in every effort to translate it to performance. For now, however, we need to focus on delivering a strong second half of the year, extract the maximum at every race and ensure we finish as high up in the constructors’ standings as possible. This will put us in a golden position for next year and the significant opportunity it brings.”