Responding to claims that Fernando Alonso had been approached by Red Bull several times, Christian Horner got his own back. He joked that maybe Alonso had enticed Toro Rosso to drive for Toro Rosso in 2019.
In a recent interview, Horner said Alonso would bring “chaos” to the team. This statement irked the Spaniard, who will leave F1 at the end of the year.
Later, on Thursday, Alonso claimed that he had turned down an offer from Red Bull. and in an interview with Sky Sports released on Friday he said he had snubbed as many as six approaches from the team in his F1 career.
Horner and Red Bull chief Helmut Marko have insisted that Alonso’s claims are wide of the mark. The Red Bull team principal even offered a withering response to the veteran racer’s latest claim.
He said, “I’m not quite sure, maybe Franz [Tost, Toro Rosso team principal] has made him an offer.
“There was no offer from Red Bull Racing this year. Fernando Alonso is a great driver, one of the best grand prix drivers out there, but he just doesn’t fit the profile of our team – the investment we have in youth and junior team with Toro Rosso.
“It’s sad for him to leave F1 but there was certainly never any offer on the table from Red Bull Racing.
“I had a couple of conversations with Flavio [Briatore] that was obviously looking around but there was an enquiry that came from FOM immediately following Daniel’s announcement but the situation was always very, very clear that Fernando just doesn’t fit in our thoughts, in our future, so there was never any offer.
“Why Fernando’s chosen to say that to you, I’m not quite sure. I’m not sure whom he had the offer from.”
Now, the teams have to prepare for this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix.