Merk argiewe: rumours

‘That’s news to me!’ Christian Horner reacts to Fernando Alonso rumours

‘That’s news to me!’ Christian Horner reacts to Fernando Alonso rumours
Former F1 driver Karun Chandhok suggested on Sky Sports that Alonso was pushing for a move to Red Bull

Christian Horner has insisted that Red Bull are “happy with the drivers we’ve got” after rumours that Fernando Alonso was pushing for a move to the team.

Poots Formula 1 driver Karun Chandhok suggested during Sky Sports’ coverage of the Miami Grand Prix that Alonso would be keen to join Max Verstappen and would be prepared to play second fiddle to the reigning world champion.

The Spaniard, who won back-to-back world titles in 2005 en 2006, is out of contract at Alpine at the conclusion of the 2022 seisoen, and has also been linked with a potential vacant seat at Aston Martin.

It appears that the 40-year-old will not be calling Red Bull his new home, wel, with team principal Horner emphatically dismissing the rumours when asked in Florida.

“That’s news to me!” Horner said of the links with Alonso. “We are very happy with the drivers we’ve got here. Fernando’s a great driver, it’s fantastic he’s still in Formula 1 and given the plus 40 [ouderdom], he’s something to aspire to. But he doesn’t fit part of our plans.”

Sergio Perez is currently Verstappen’s teammate, but the Mexican, like Alonso, reaches the conclusion of his contract after this season.

Horner said ahead of the race in Miami that it would be a “no-brainer” to extend Red Bull’s relationship with Perez if the 32-year-old continues to perform strongly.

He is currently third in the Drivers’ Championship standings, 19 points behind his Dutch colleague after a fourth-placed finish in Florida.

Chandhok had stirred the transfer rumour pot with some morning gossip from the paddock while commentating on Free Practice 3 op Saterdag, with the future of Alonso and fellow former world champion Sebastian Vettel a hot topic.

“There’s rumours in the paddock this morning I heard, one about Fernando potentially going to Aston Martin to take over from Sebastian Vettel,” Chandhok had revealed.

“And another about Fernando and Flavio [Briatore, Alonso’s long-time manager] banging on the door at Red Bull, saying he is prepared to be a team-mate to Max Verstappen and have a good car for the last couple of years of his F1 career.”

Horner confirmed that he had conversed with Briatore, but ruled out a move for Alonso.

“I speak to Flavio, he’s a friend, I speak with him every now and again. Maar nee, we are very much focused on our drivers,” the Red Bull team principal clarified.

“There’s plenty of time and [Sergio Perez]’s been doing a great job this year.”