Taylor Swift Has Taken Over… Formula 1?
Like all fun, dumb, egregiously unverified celebrity rumors these days, it came from Deux Moi: Taylor Swift, fresh off her breakup with Joe Alwyn, was allegedly racing back to the dating world with… Formula 1 driver and two-time world champion Fernando Alonso.
That was back in mid-April, and there’s been no news since to confirm (or, technically, deny) the rumors, but you better believe the gossip has engendered a ton of content. Alonso himself has been leaning heavily into the bit, and it even spilled over into coverage of this weekend’s F1 Grand Prix in Baku, Azerbaijan.
At this point, one can only assume that there’s gonna be a whole episode devoted to the rumor in Season Six of Drive to Survive. (A rep for Swift, by the way, did not reply to a request for comment, which, fair enough.)
Alonso has definitely been the primary driver (heh) of it all. The Spaniard is not only enjoying a great start to the season — sitting third in the Driver championship standings and pushing Aston Martin to second in the Constructors’ championship standings — but he’s also gotten really into, and pretty good at, TikTok (or at least his press team has). Last week, he used the platform to post a five-second video featuring a sped-up version of Swift’s “Karma,” where he did nothing more than sit in a chair and wink at the camera.
The caption? The not-at-all subtle “Race week era.” Total view count? 4.5 million. Even the official F1 account was compelled to get in on the action, commenting, “Never did we think in our Wildest Dreams this would happen.”
A few days later, Alonso shared another wink in another TikTok, this time as he lifted weights and “22 (Taylor’s Version)” played in the background. The caption? I’m lifting 22’s.” (Oh, brother.)
The absolute madness quickly spread to the dank meme corners of F1 fandom, as well as race weekend in Baku. Alonso was inevitably asked about it in an interview, the reporter framing the question as “I have to ask this one [ed. note: did you?] because if I don’t, I’ll just be leaving a ‘Blank Space,’ but I know it potentially is your ‘Love Story’ and nobody else’s, but there have obviously been rumors… “
Alonso jumped in with a grin and said, “No, no, nothing to say mate!”
But the grand prize for both cringe and commitment to the bit has to go to Sky Sports’ beloved lead F1 commentator David “Crofty” Croft. Crofty spent a good chunk of Alonso’s practice and qualifying sessions throwing out enough Swift jokes to fill a 38-second TikTok compilation. Among the great man’s nuggets of gold: “A swift drive from Fernando Alonso”; “Fernando Alonso has just gone fourth fastest, like he’s driving a ‘Getaway Car!’”; “Fernando Alonso there looking for that ‘Blank Space’”; and “Maybe that’s Alonso’s ‘Style’ and maybe at the end he’ll say ‘Would’ve, Could’ve Should’ve.’”
Crofty’s co-commentator Karun Chandhok slipped in a nice Reputation deep cut, too — “At least he can say, ‘Don’t Blame Me’” — though minus points for recycling Crofty’s “Blank Space” bit (sorry, we don’t make the rules).
Anyway, despite the fact that we here at Rolling Stone have now devoted upwards of 500 words to this nonsense, we are praying that everyone at Formula 1 has gotten the gossip and wordplay out of their systems for next weekend’s Miami Grand Prix because we can no longer “tolerate it.” (Sorry.)