F1: De la Rosa denies wild Alonso contract rumor

(GMM) Pedro de la Rosa has scoffed at a wild rumor about the details of Fernando Alonso’s contract at Aston Martin.

The 41-year-old Spaniard, a former two-time champion, made the switch from Alpine to Aston Martin at the end of last year to replace retiring fellow champion Sebastian Vettel.

What he found at the Silverstone based team was a surprisingly competitive car, kicking off a series of podium finishes early in 2023.

“Had Seb had this year’s car, he would probably have postponed his retirement,” team boss Mike Krack admitted to Speed Week.

However, the car Vettel had at his disposal last year was far from competitive at the beginning.

“He probably lost his motivation at the beginning of the season,” said Krack. “By the end, in Suzuka and Austin where we were able to keep up, Sebastian was hot again.

“But by then, his decision had already been made.”

On the face of it, swapping out Vettel for Alonso now looks inspired. But more recently, some have started to suspect that the Spaniard was actually signed as a clear ‘number 2’ driver.

The rumors were triggered by a couple of instances in which Alonso dutifully failed to attack teammate Lance Stroll – the son of team owner Lawrence Stroll.

Is Alonso contractually unable to challenge Stroll when the Canadian is in front?

“Antonio, that’s absurd,” said Pedro de la Rosa, a long-time colleague of Alonso’s who is now a brand ambassador at Aston Martin.

“Sorry, it’s absurd,” he repeated to DAZN commentator Antonio Lobato. “You’ve mentioned that before and it’s totally absurd.

“Good teamwork is being done, that’s all.”

Pedro de la Rosa. Photo courtesy of Aston Martin F1
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