F1 news latest: Fernando Alonso extends Alpine deal until 2022
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Fresh from their first win in Hungary, Alpine on Thursday confirmed Fernando Alonso as Esteban Ocon’s team-mate for the 2022 season.
Two-time world champion Alonso’s race craft in holding up a charging Lewis Hamilton in Hungary helped Ocon to a remarkable debut Grand Prix triumph last month.
On the back of that the partnership remains intact for a second season after Ocon signed a three-year deal earlier in the season.
“Fernando’s excellent teamwork, unparallelled experience and race craft will be strong foundations for Alpine F1 Team’s continued progress,” the team noted in a statement.
Alpine are counting on the veteran 40-year-old Spaniard’s expertise to help it through the transition to the new set of regulations due to come into force from next year.
Alpine highlighted Fernando Alonso’s “pivotal” role in securing the rebranded Renault team their first success in their new colours with his fourth place finish, his best result since 2014.
“Further still, Fernando put in a stunning demonstration of overtaking acumen in the race restart to the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, with a similarly skilful performance repeated just a month later in Formula 1’s first ever Sprint Qualifying in Silverstone,” the team added.
Their driver line-up offers a perfect blend of 24-year-old Ocon’s youth and Alonso’s experience, Alpine added ahead of this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix.
Alpine arrive at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit with Ocon in 10th in the drivers classification, one place above Alonso, and the team fifth in the constructors standings.
“I felt at home the moment I returned to this team and have been welcomed back with open arms,” said Fernando Alonso, who won his two world titles in 2005 and 2006 for the team in its Renault era.
“I am looking forward to the rest of this year and racing alongside Esteban in 2022 for Alpine,” he added.