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Horner Red Bull saga among curious clues on how Alonso deal shapes F1 future

Horner Red Bull saga among curious clues on how Alonso deal shapes F1 future

Horner Red Bull saga among curious clues on how Alonso deal shapes F1 future

Horner Red Bull saga among curious clues on how Alonso deal shapes F1 future

Another piece of the 2025 Formula 1 jigsaw fell into place with Fernando Alonso committing to Aston Martin for his foreseeable future.

The Spaniard is always one to create his own destiny, and the decision to remain at the Silverstone-based team when so many other possibilities exist has let us fill in the gaps of F1's frantic off-track start to 2024.

READ MORE: Horner announces details of new Red Bull PA's employment terms

Now more than ever, it hasn't been easy to separate paddock fact and fiction between all the Red Bull Racing infighting and Lewis Hamilton replacement theories.

Although we'll have to wait for official confirmation of the many dangling loose threads, Alonso's announcement does give us some certainty about what we didn't know before.

READ MORE: EXCLUSIVE: Adrian Newey leaving top F1 team 'inevitable' thanks to ambition

Horner doesn't want Alonso at Red Bull

Horner had a tricky 2024

F1 is always more hostile in its politics than its wheel-to-wheel action, and Alonso might be the best person in the sport's history to be an expert in both.

With all of the in-team drama at Red Bull Racing over 2024's opening months, adding the Spanish Minister of Mischief to Milton Keynes might've been a step too far for Christian Horner.

It's prudent for both Alonso and Red Bull to explore any collaboration possibilities, as both parties would bring something beneficial for the other, and the two would have talked.

Perhaps Horner didn't want to play politics with Alonso when he was already fending off infighting, or he simply knew that all the Max Verstappen to Mercedes rumours wouldn't come to fruition.

Maybe it's both, but whatever the reason, we can surmise that Verstappen won't be leaving and that Alonso will never drive for Red Bull.

READ MORE: Hamilton 'praying' for F1 rival following serious operation

Honda can forgive

Alonso raced for McLaren

To demonstrate the aforementioned political plays, Alonso's barbed 'GP2 engine' comments about Honda's power unit for McLaren would have many thinking the two would never work together again.

With Aston Martin becoming Honda's works team in 2026, Alonso and the Japanese manufacturer will join forces for the first time since 2017.

Honda has come a long way from their McLaren days, taking Red Bull to multiple world championships after those woeful early turbo-hybrid years that had Alonso endure his three worst seasons outside his rookie Minardi campaign.

The two-time champion knew what he was doing with that infamous radio message, but it seems time can heal all wounds, and a reunion nearly one decade later should prove far more successful for both.

READ MORE: EXCLUSIVE: Ferrari offered 10-year contract to champion driver

F1 driver lineup 2025 takes shape

Alonso remains with Aston Martin

We must assume that Lance Stroll will partner Alonso at Aston Martin next season, making the green team the third to have both seats filled for 2025.

Ferrari, McLaren, and now Aston Martin have no room for drivers hoping to jump into new overalls, and that will reverberate around the grid, though not to the extent of Hamilton's Ferrari switch.

Despite not having access to Alonso, Red Bull and Mercedes are the primary beneficiaries of the Spaniard's decision to stay.

With the current grid split into two halves, only two seats rather than three are available for cars capable of regularly fighting for points.

That means Carlos Sainz, the most attractive unsigned driver, has one fewer option to tempt him, making a Red Bull or Mercedes seat significantly more appealing.

Take a moment to think of poor Felipe Drugovich, though. The 2022 F2 champion and Aston Martin reserve driver would've hoped to find himself racing in F1 for his employer but has now lost any route of direct promotion.

READ MORE: Mercedes 'offer F1 contract' to Hamilton replacement with 'official announcement' claims made

Smashing a Schumacher record

Schumacher raced in his 40s

Hamilton and Verstappen have taken many of Michael Schumacher's F1 records away over the past 10 years, and Alonso will beat the legendary German thanks to this new contract, too.

Unlike many of Schumacher's broken records, it's not a table-topping stat that Alonso will topple, but it's still notable in the modern era.

Schumacher's final race came when he was 43 years, 10 months, and 22 days old, putting him 57th on the all-time list.

The rapidly decreasing driver ages since F1's early seasons means the upper echelons of this table are unlikely to change — the entire top 10 of this chart are 50-somethings from the 1950s, and there's no one who raced after 1975 in the top 50 positions.

That'll change should Alonso remain in F1 until the end of 2026, and he'll leap to 31st place if he's still on the grid in 2027, depending on that season's calendar.

READ MORE: EXCLUSIVE: F1 champ names team-mate who had 'negative effect' on Hamilton

Alonso signed before Suzuka

The 2024 Japanese GP

Aston Martin's ingenious press release announcing Alonso's extension dropped on the Thursday following the Japanese GP.

If we rewind to the race weekend, though, you get the impression that Alonso already knew where his future was due to comments about joining other teams.

When Sky Sports asked whether it'd be attractive to join a team that was higher in the pecking order and whether phone calls to Toto Wolff were happening, Alonso shot down that suggestion, saying, "That's a very good question, but Mercedes is behind us, so it doesn't feel that attractive."

That's not the talk of a driver flirting with the possibility of jumping into another vacant seat, strongly suggesting he had already put pen to paper for his Aston Martin future or his decision was already made with only finer details still to be established.

READ MORE: Brundle reveals 'perfect' F1 driver to partner Verstappen at Red Bull


Lewis Hamilton Carlos Sainz Fernando Alonso Aston Martin Red Bull Racing Silverstone
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