Formula 1 | Rossi is ‘sad’ to lose ‘the best driver in the world’ with Alonso

Rossi is 'sad' to lose 'the (...)

After suffering a double snub – the successive losses of Fernando Alonso and Oscar Piastri – Alpine did not seek to minimize the extent of its disappointment.

Laurent Rossi, in an interview with Marca, used even stronger words to say how much he regretted the departure of Fernando Alonso in particular, to Aston Martin F1.

Because by losing the Spaniard, Alpine F1 loses, according to Rossi, neither more nor less than one of the very best drivers in the paddock. Even history?

« He’s the best, we know that, and he knows that. »

“Yes, I personally and quite frankly think that Fernando Alonso is one of the best, if not the best driver in the world at the moment. Even though he’s going to leave, I still believe he’s the best and I esteem him. In the history of Formula 1, if things had turned out a little differently for some reason, he would have had multiple, multiple, multiple titles. »

“Fernando is the greatest champion we have ever had at Renault, period. And it’s very sad to lose the best, period. »

“To be very transparent, we all believe Fernando has the potential to be world champion if he had a car that could do it. But our car is not – not yet. Fernando is clearly much better than the car. It’s like Ronaldo playing for a small team, rather than Real Madrid. »

What happened then that Alpine did not seek, at all costs, to satisfy Fernando Alonso?

Rossi confirms it: the duration of the contract was at the center of the discussions – and the disagreements.

“It was clear for him and Oscar. We had a two-year exclusivity with Piastri and if I hired Fernando for more than two years, we lost Oscar. »

“And as CEO of a brand, my mission is to think about the future as much as the present…if not more. »

“For the Academy, it was not appropriate to offer him more than two years, to see how Oscar behaved during these two years and to evaluate him afterwards. »

“Maybe he wanted three years. There are things that we couldn’t offer – things that Aston Martin offers him and it’s normal that he considers them. »

« For him, it’s clear that the length of the contract was decisive, but I don’t think that’s the only thing that matters. »

No resentment towards Fernando Alonso

However, does Rossi think Fernando Alonso will be able to achieve his goals – to fight for victories – with Aston Martin F1? A team that has regressed in pure performance this year?

“We are in a better position than them at the moment. We are a factory team, we have the engine, we are ahead of them…”

“Contrary to what people think, I think Fernando knows that it takes at least three or four years to fight for an F1 title. It took 7 years at Red Bull, with a super structure. I think Alonso knows that Aston is starting further than us, but he looked more at the challenge, the conditions and the length of the contract. His job won’t be much different: helping a team grow, as he does with us. »

Does Rossi therefore have no resentment towards Fernando Alonso?

“There is no resentment. He is a super professional and he continues to do an exceptional job. The fact that he is frustrated not to finish a race shows it well. He could go home, say to himself « I don’t care », but no, he complains because he wants to continue and that’s fantastic. Believe me, in the briefing, in the office… he always pushes to improve the team. »

At Alpine, life without Fernando Alonso promises to be tough to hear a very pessimistic Laurent Rossi!

“It’s difficult because you can’t replace a world champion, let alone someone who is so good at developing cars. It will be very difficult. I tell you honestly that Fernando is very strong on the track but also impresses off the track. The fact that he’s leaving doesn’t change my opinion of him as a driver or as a person. »

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