Alonso, Aston, Perez: Wild F1 rumours before Brazil GP
"We will soon see to what extent it will be confirmed"
Wild rumours are filling the short gap between the Mexican and Brazilian grands prix.
Before leaving the Formula 1 venue near Mexico City, well-known Spanish journalist Albert Fabrega wrote cryptically on social media: "I don’t want to believe the rumour they have told me now in the paddock. No."
Many of his followers immediately believed the rumour may have something to do with Fernando Alonso.
"I’m just going to say one thing about the rumour that I told you yesterday," Fabrega said in a follow-up post. "From the tone of the text it is understood that I would not like it to happen.
"From here, you can speculate as much as you want. And I hope it remains a rumour and not news."
As is often the case in modern F1, the rumour then grew legs and people began making various connections with other goings-on in the world.
For instance, a huge $3 million stake in Aston Martin was sold on the London Stock Exchange on Monday - revving up rumours that Lawrence Stroll may be preparing to sell the carmaker as well as the Silverstone based F1 team.
"It’s just a wild rumour at this point," said Polish journalist Daniel Bialy. "We will soon see to what extent it will be confirmed."
It has all triggered speculation Alonso, 42, may also depart Aston Martin - to potentially swap seats in 2024 with Red Bull’s underperforming Sergio Perez.
That is despite Dr Helmut Marko’s repeated statements insisting Perez’s 2024 contract will be respected.
"I don’t know how many times I have to say it," the Red Bull team advisor told Sky Deutschland. "He has his contract for 2024 and that will happen."
But Canal Plus, the French F1 broadcaster, is also reporting that Mexican Perez, 33, will in fact not be Max Verstappen’s teammate next year.
The obvious candidate to replace Perez, however, is not Aston Martin’s Alonso but Daniel Ricciardo, who out-qualified Perez in Mexico at the wheel of Red Bull’s junior team Alpha Tauri.
"The many upgrades at Alpha Tauri had an effect," said Marko, but he also said the Formula 1 world witnessed the return of "the old Daniel" with his impressive weekend in Mexico.
"He drove calmly and smoothly with a good overview of the race," the 80-year-old added.
Marko defended Perez, who like Ricciardo is 33-years-old, after the Mexican’s turn 1 crash into Charles Leclerc on Sunday, but former F1 driver Timo Glock thinks the Mexican in fact will not have impressed Marko.
"This is the worst case scenario for Perez," he said. "This (crash) will hurt him even more now.
"It was a glimmer of hope that he could build up his self-confidence in Mexico, but now the opposite has happened. Lewis Hamilton has picked up a lot of points because of it.
"It’s a difficult situation and the pressure is even greater now," Glock added.
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