The ‘difficult’ reason Fernando Alonso didn’t join Max Verstappen at Red Bull

Fernando Alonso could have been teammates with Max Verstappen  (Getty Images)
Fernando Alonso could have been teammates with Max Verstappen (Getty Images)

Helmut Marko has revealed the reason why Fernando Alonso has never joined Max Verstappen at Red Bull despite plenty of conversations between the iconic Spaniard and the currently dominant F1 team.

The 42-year-old Alonso has spoken to Red Bull about potentially signing for them a number of times over the years but committed what is likely the remainder of his F1 career to Aston Martin when signing a new deal until at least 2026 back in April.

Alonso has previously confirmed that at least one set of talks included chief technical officer Adrian Newey but Red Bull adviser Marko has stated that the veteran wouldn’t get on well as a teammate to three-time world champion Verstappen and thus the move will never happen.

“Well, there have been conversations,” Marko told’s YouTube channel. “But as I mentioned before, a harmonious work environment is very important to Max and I think that probably would not have been the case with Alonso.

“I think it would be very difficult for a team. Alonso would be the oldest world champion on the team, Max the youngest, and they are generations apart.

“I don’t think Alonso does sim racing or gets into a simulator on a plane right after a grand prix. So they are two opposite personalities, both very good drivers and also personalities. But when it comes to seeing who is faster neither of them are very modest. And it would be very, very difficult for a team to take that in a positive direction.”

Verstappen (centre) and Alonso (right) have shared the podium on occasion (AFP via Getty Images)
Verstappen (centre) and Alonso (right) have shared the podium on occasion (AFP via Getty Images)

When committing his future to Aston Martin, Alonso did acknowledge that he had spoken to a number of other teams but refused to specifically name them.

“I think it’s normal when you enter negotiations, you need to balance a little bit what is the market,” explained Alonso. “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. I don’t know, in my head, Aston was the logical thing for me to do.”

“I will not be specific of which teams I spoke to as I think this is not important now. But it’s a normal conversation to have, same for teams when they are searching for a driver. They touch everyone just to know their position and their contract situation – even if they are not super interested they always want to know everything. For me, it’s the same but without any clear targets and first priority was Aston.”

Marko believes the veteran Spaniard missed his best opportunity to join Red Bull in the pre-Verstappen era because he didn’t believe in the building ability of the team, although they have since won six Constructors’ Championships and seven Drivers’ Championships.

“Well, we were talking to Alonso in the early years of Red Bull Racing,” he added. “I don’t think he thought we were capable of manufacturing cars that could compete to win World Championships. And that didn’t work out.”