Flavio Briatore reveals role in Fernando Alonso switch to Aston Martin

Flavio Briatore led the Renault team when Fernando Alonso won his two Formula 1 world titles in 2005 and 2006

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Flavio Briatore has revealed that he had an influence on the decision which saw Fernando Alonso leave Alpine and join Aston Martin in Formula 1 instead.

The 41-year-old made the right move at the right time with two podiums in two races already in 2023, having gelled with his new team and car remarkably quickly. Alpine, meanwhile, have not hit the heights they were predicting before a wheel was turned in anger.

Briatore is still a major voice in Alonso‘s career and revealed that he and the Spaniard took the decision mutually to gamble on Aston Martin rather than re-sign with Alpine.

“We shared the decision, we took a risk,” Briatore said to Corriere della Sera. “But it was worth it.

“They were offering us two years of contract while others, with the excuse of age, only one. Then we knew that Lawrence Stroll was putting together a great team. In there we saw a desire for change that wasn’t there for, say, Alpine.”

Title hopes not over

After two races, Aston Martin look to be Red Bull’s closest championship challenger with Ferrari woefully off the pace at Saudi Arabia and Mercedes very much stagnant from 2022 but they are still very far off in terms of pace.

Briatore, though, is hesitant to write off the British manufacturer in the title race with a lot of room for improvement in their current car and heaps of wind tunnel time compared to the current runaway leaders.

“I would wait to say that the World Championship is already over,” Briatore continued. “The Aston Martin is still a ‘virgin’ car: we will see how much it can grow with developments.

“The others still have to understand their problems, Fernando has a car that is easy to understand and to drive. If he gets the chance to win, he won’t let it slip away.”

Joe Ellis
Joe Ellis
Motorsport journalist, indyCar correspondent and F1 writer for Total-Motorsport.com
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