Following the announcement earlier in the year that young Frenchman Esteban Ocon had signed a three-year deal to continue with Alpine, it has now been announced that two-time world champion Fernando Alonso will remain with the Enstone-based team in 2022.
This move comes following a run of strong performances from the Spaniard, including his impressive fourth place, and defensive driving masterclass, last time out in Hungary. Scoring points in every race since the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in June sees Alonso occupy P11 in the drivers’ standings, only 1 point shy of his younger teammate.
With the introduction of new regulations from next season, stability in their driver lineup, as well as the balance between youth and experience between their two drivers is a great benefit to Alpine. As well as this Alonso has proved his two-year absence from the sport has not affected his pace, after matching and beating his teammate on just his sixth weekend in the car.
As Alpine sets their focus on the second half of the 2021 season ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix this weekend, they move forward with both drivers comfortable and confident in the knowledge that their seats are secure.
Speaking on the announcement, Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi said: “We are very pleased to confirm Fernando for next season, partnering with Esteban. 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.”
Fernando Alonso said: “I’m very happy to confirm the contract extension with Alpine F1 Team into 2022. 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.”