Fernando Alonso “negotiation tactic” disputed: “He sounded sincere!”

Could Fernando Alonso genuinely walk away from F1 or is he being clever with his words?

Fernando Alonso (ESP) Aston Martin F1 Team in the FIA Press Conference. Formula 1 Testing, Sakhir, Bahrain, Day Two.-
Fernando Alonso (ESP) Aston Martin F1 Team in the FIA Press Conference…

Sky experts have disagreed over whether Fernando Alonso was using a “negotiation tactic” when discussing the possibility of walking away from F1.

Ahead of this weekend’s season-opening F1 Bahrain Grand Prix, the two-time champion insisted “I need to decide if I want to keep racing”.

Aged 42, he is not contracted for 2025 - but Aston Martin want to keep him, and opportunities may present themselves at Mercedes or Red Bull.

Sky Sports’ Karun Chandhok said about Alonso discussing his possible retirement: “I imagine it’s a negotiation tactic.

“He’s one of the best assets that the Aston Martin team has got.

“It’s a nice way to strengthen his negotiating position to say ‘maybe I will get out’.

“The slight complication is the other Spaniard, Carlos Sainz, who [will be] a free agent.

“I imagine he’d be on the phone to Aston because that’s quite a good seat to have.”

Fernando Alonso (ESP) Aston Martin F1 Team AMR24. Formula 1 Testing, Sakhir, Bahrain, Day Two. - www.xpbimages.com,
Fernando Alonso (ESP) Aston Martin F1 Team AMR24. Formula 1 Testing,…

But Damon Hill interpreted Alonso’s words differently.

“Fernando has been driving an awfully long time and the seasons are getting longer,” he said.

“He mentioned a few times, last year, which made me think - he was talking about the commitment needed to do this job.

“It is unbelievable to keep at the sharp end, as he’s done, for that length of time.

“You put on the backburner all the other things that, in the back of your mind, you think ‘I wouldn’t mind having a look at that, some day’.

“But you will never get the time if you’re driving.

“That starts to become a pull.

“He sounded sincere about that. It wasn’t a negotiating tactic, I don’t think.”

Naomi Schiff added: “Fernando is one of the best racers on the grid. He loves it, that’s why he’s done it for as long as he has.

“Twenty-four seasons is strenuous on the drivers and teams so I understand why he might not want to stick around.

“He might want to try something different in his life.

“If you’ve got a car that seems to have promise, that will 100% play in his mind.

“Whether that’s Aston Martin? Too early to say. “Looking at testing, it’s not where they will start the season.

“In terms of where he might see himself in the future, if he stays in F1? He will have to wait to see what that car has got, and what the contenders have got.”

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