Alonso held talks with other teams but retirement 'never an option'


Fernando Alonso admits that he held talks with other teams before extending his allegiance to Aston Martin, but insists he never considered retiring from Formula 1.

Last week, the 42-year-old Grand Prix driver signed a new contract with Aston Martin F1 that will keep him on the grid until at least 2026, although he is expected to endorse an ambassadorial role with the brand after he leaves the sport.

Ahead of renewing his vows with Team Silverstone, Alonso was rumored to have been a candidate to succeed Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes. But it was also believed that the Spaniard was a possible option for Red Bull for 2026, as Sergio Perez’s replacement.

Alonso – whose interests are still managed by Flavio Briatore – did not divulge any details about his prospective talks but he did acknowledge that discussions with other teams had indeed taken place.

“I did speak with other people as well, yes,” Alonso said.

“I think it's normal when you enter negotiations, you need to balance a little bit what is the market.

“You need to listen to everyone else as well. It's just a normal procedure, and I think it's fair to listen to all the proposals and see how the market moves.”

Last month, while contemplating his future, Alonso openly expressed doubts about his willingness to continue racing in F1, citing the sacrifices required by his fast-paced life at the pinnacle of motorsport.

He admits though that the thought of calling it a day never really took root in his mind.

“It never really went to my mind, retirement,” he claimed.

“Above of all, I think when I stopped Formula 1, I will race elsewhere, maybe Dakar or something like that.

“So for me, it's very difficult to think about a life without a steering wheel in my hands. That will never happen, or not in a short term.

“No, I think I had 99 percent confidence that I will keep racing next year, so retirement was not an option.”

Alonso’s two-year contract extension with Aston Martin should see the two-time world extend his career in F1 until he reaches the age of 45, a milestone that would establish him as the oldest driver to race in in world championship race since Graham Hill in 1975.

Alonso, who started his career in F1 in 2001, currently holds the record for the greatest number of race starts , with 382 Grands Prix.

But by the end of 2026, that number should surpass 450, likely putting the Spaniard in a league of his own for years to come.

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