Alpine has confirmed Fernando Alonso will remain with the team for the 2022 Formula 1 season.
When the team announced Alonso would be joining it last July, it was originally described as a two-year deal, meaning this is no surprise. But the way the deal was set up meant that it was ‘1+1’ deal requiring options to be taken up to secure his place for 2022.
Alonso has performed increasingly well on his return to Formula 1, scoring 38 points with a best finish of fourth in the Hungarian Grand Prix earlier this month.
“I’m very happy to confirm the contract extension with Alpine F1 Team into 2022,” said Alonso. “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-Chatillon.
“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.”
Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi described the combination of Alonso and Esteban Ocon, who signed a new deal that will keep him at the team until the end of 2024, as one of the strongest on the grid.
While Ocon claimed the Alpine brand’s breakthrough win in Hungary, Alonso played a key part in that victory by holding the charging Lewis Hamilton at bay for 11 crucial laps late in the race.
Rossi also believes Alonso has a key part to play in the hoped-for step forward the team will make when the new technical regulations are introduced next season.
“For us it is a perfect driver line-up, amongst the strongest on the grid,” said Rossi.
“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 optimisation 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.”