Formula 1


Why Fernando Alonso turned down chance to sign for Red Bull in 2008

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Football News

Fernando Alonso has not had a great 2017 with McLaren-Honda.

Despite picking up just 11 points in an extremely frustrating season and a flirtation with Indy500 the Spaniard must be wondering how it could have all gone so wrong.

Fortunately for McLaren and F1 fans, the former world champion has agreed to extend his deal for another year, with the hope of challenging further up the field in 2018. 

It could have been so much different though if he had signed with Red Bull for the 09/10 season.

According to Red Bull’s Team Principal, Christian Horner, he and Helmut Marko held talks with Alonso and his representatives back in 2008 and actually offered him a two-year deal.

Alonso being Alonso, however, turned them down. Why?

Well, according to Horner, the 36-year-old refused to commit to any deal longer than a year. 

“We got very close to signing Alonso," Red Bull’s Horner told Motor Sport Magazine, as per Planet F1.

Renault Spanish Formula One driver Ferna

“Helmut and I went to see his management at the end of 2008 for the ’09 and ’10 season, and we offered him a two-year contract.

“He would only sign up for one year and we said Red Bull’s position was a two-year deal or nothing, and he wouldn’t commit to that.

“We thought he’d had a Ferrari contract very clearly for ’09.

“What was weird about that was that Flavio was involved as well, but he was trying to get him for Renault which he was managing at the time and in the end, he drove for Renault for 10 years.


“Halfway through 2009, I had an approach to say ‘could he join mid-season?’ because they thought he could win the championship in the car."

“Then he had another conversation in the back of an Alfa Romeo at Spa airport several years later in ’11 or ’12.

“The most serious discussion was the first one, and then it missed its chance.”

Given Sebastian Vettel went on to win four consecutive drivers' championships at Red Bull between 2010-14, you have got to assume Alonso must be kicking himself he turned down such a big opportunity now.

Fernando Alonso
Formula 1

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