Alpine CEO Rossi: Alonso is the best F1 driver in the world

The Alpine CEO believes the 41-year-old still has what it takes to win another F1 World Championship

-

Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi believes Fernando Alonso is still the best driver in the world, even with the Spaniard set to leave the team at the end of the season.

The 41-year-old has opted to leave the French outfit in favour of a move to Aston Martin, suggesting that the British-based team’s eagerness to sign him made him realise how little love he had been receiving from Alpine.

Rossi admits maybe he and the team could have done more to make Alonso feel appreciated, but made it clear his opinion of the Spaniard hasn’t changed despite his decision to try his luck elsewhere.

“It’s what he feels and I’m not the one to judge that,” Rossi told MARCA. “It’s often said that people remember you by the way you make them feel.

“If he feels that way, it’s possible that we are responsible. 

Alpine’s Fernando Alonso during Spanish Grand Prix press conference | REUTERS/Nacho Doce

“We probably didn’t do enough. We may be guilty in that we underestimated the needs that a two-time World Champion has in terms of attention.

“Maybe we thought he didn’t need to hear that he was the best, because we all know it, and he knows it. Maybe we didn’t do it enough.

“I personally believe that he’s one of the best, if not the best driver in the world right now. Even if he is going to leave, I still believe it and I value him.

“In terms of Formula 1 history, if things had gone a little differently for him, he would have multiple titles. But maybe that affection came in the form of asking for a longer contract and, to be honest, we couldn’t do that.

Reasons behind Alonso departure

Alonso will replace the retiring Sebastian Vettel at Aston Martin, while Alpine are expected to announce the signing of Pierre Gasly after Oscar Piastri, the team’s first choice to replace the Spaniard, decided to leave for McLaren.

Rossi explained that Alpine‘s decision not to bring Alonso back was done with an eye on the future.

Fernando may not have long left, although I could be wrong because he is exceptional,” said Rossi. “But it’s too big a gamble for a whole organisation. We discussed it a lot with Otmar [Szafnauer], who was also very important in making the decision. 

Alpine’s Fernando Alonso is seen before 2022 Bahrain Grand Prix REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

“Because of the Academy and the investments we made in that part of Alpine‘s future, it was not convenient to offer him [Alonso] more than two years, see how Oscar [Piastri] performed during those two years and then evaluate. Maybe he wanted three years. 

“To be honest with you, it’s very likely that in two years he will be performing like he is now, but we couldn’t do that.

“Having said that, we are all very sad to see him go, very sad. I have said it to him and I’ll repeat it. Fernando is the greatest champion we have ever had at Renault. And it is very sad to lose the best.”

Alpine’s reliability problems

Alonso believes he’s lost 60-70 points due to poor reliability this season, and Rossi admits the team still have quite a bit of work to do if they want to compete for the World Championship.

“To be clear, we all believe he [Alonso] has the potential to surely be World Champion if he had a capable car,” said Rossi.

“But the car isn’t, yet. Fernando is clearly much better than the car. 

“We’ve lost Fernando, but he hasn’t really been able to show his full ability, so it doesn’t change our situation much.

“I’m sad he’s leaving but it would be worse if he left in three years’ time, when we have the car to win and only he can take it to the championship.”

Adriano Boin
Adriano Boin
Motorsport journalist specialising in Formula 1 and Ferrari.
- Advertisment -

LATEST NEWS

Fernando Alonso during 2024 Australian GP | Aston Martin F1 Team

Fernando Alonso reveals Aston Martin’s true pace compared to F1 rivals after Chinese GP...

0
Fernando Alonso believes Aston Martin are slower than Ferrari, McLaren and potentially even Mercedes despite outqualifying all of them...
Max Verstappen of Red Bull leads Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes during the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix Sprint | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen admits to qualifying confusion after Lewis Hamilton caught out

0
Max Verstappen revealed he was confused by his opening run in Q3 before eventually improving to take his fifth...
Lewis Hamilton looks on in a press conference at the 2024 pre-season test in Bahrain | Mercedes / Jiri Krenek

Lewis Hamilton upbeat after Mercedes disaster in Chinese GP qualifying: Sh*t happens

0
Lewis Hamilton admits his changes made to his car prior to qualifying for the Formula 1 2024 Chinese Grand...

Christian Horner: Perez driving for Red Bull future

0
Christian Horner praised Sergio Perez's recovery after a chastening 2023 Formula 1 season, as the Mexican completed a Red...
Max Verstappen celebrates pole position after qualifying for the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Starting Grid for F1 2024 Chinese Grand Prix

0
Max Verstappen secured a dominant pole position for the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix, marking Red Bull’s 100th pole in...
Max Verstappen of Red Bull during Sprint Qualifying at the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen roars to Chinese GP pole as Hamilton sinks to new low

0
Max Verstappen will start on pole for the Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix as Lewis Hamilton's wretched start of...
George Russell of Mercedes leads Daniel Ricciardo of Visa Cash App RB during the Sprint ahead of 2024 Chinese Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Chinese Grand Prix 2024 – Qualifying Results

0
Max Verstappen clinched pole position for the 2024 Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix, continuing his dominance with a fifth...
Daniel Ricciardo of Visa Cash App RB during Sprint Qualifying ahead of 2024 Chinese Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

F1 Chinese Grand Prix 2024 Qualifying – Highlights

0
As the Formula 1 season progresses, the intensity mounts at the Shanghai International Circuit with the qualifying session for...
Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez after the F1 2024 Chinese GP Sprint Race | Mercedes / Wolfgang Wilhelm

Lewis Hamilton offers bleak excuse for lack of Verstappen defence after Rosberg criticism

0
Lewis Hamilton has admitted he did not try to fight Max Verstappen after the Mercedes star was denied a...
Lewis Hamilton looks on ahead of hitting the track in Friday practice at the 2024 Saudi Arabian GP | Sam Bloxham / Mercedes F1 team

Unsympathetic Lewis Hamilton blames Lando Norris for Lap 1 Sprint Race incident

0
Lewis Hamilton offered little sympathy to Lando Norris after the McLaren driver lost the lead of the 2024 Chinese...
- Advertisment -