Just four days after the announcement of Sebastian Vettel’s retirement, Aston Martin was quick to bounce back from one world champion to another. The team owned by Lawrence Stroll announced on Monday that Fernando Alonso, 2005 and 2006 champion, would be one of its drivers from 2023 and for several seasons. The Spaniard, who celebrated his 41st birthday three days ago, is therefore leaving Alpine after only two seasons.
For weeks, discussions had been underway between the French team and Alonso, but their turn obviously did not please the latter, who found two undoubtedly key elements with Aston Martin: a salary commensurate with his demands and a multi-year contract. “I’ve watched this team consistently attract great people with winning pedigrees. And I was informed of a huge commitment for a new factory and new resources at Silverstone, Alonso said in the official statement. No one in Formula 1 today demonstrates such vision and total commitment to winning. That’s what makes this opportunity exciting for me. »
“I still have the ambition and the will to fight and I want to be part of an organization that is determined to learn, grow and win”
Author of a podium last year in Qatar (3rd) and tenth in the World Championship in 2021 as in the 2022 classification, the Spaniard affirms that this choice, for the team currently penultimate in the Constructors’ Championship, is not not a renunciation of being competitive. “I still have the ambition and the drive to fight up front and I want to be part of an organization that is determined to learn, grow and win. We are aware that there is a lot to do to get back to the front and we must put all our energy into working together for more performance. »
Lawrence Stroll, whose son Lance will continue to occupy the other seat in the team, underlined “I am looking to bring together the best people, develop the right resources and install the right organization to be successful in this highly competitive sport and those plans are now taking shape at Silverstone. It therefore seemed natural to invite Fernando to be part of this development of a winning team. In our exchanges, it quickly became apparent that we had the same ambitions and the same values. »
Alonso’s departure could benefit Oscar Piastri. The 21-year-old Australian, convincing Formula 2 champion in 2021, comes from the Alpine Academy. He was the team’s reserve driver this season who was actively looking for a place on the grid, it could finally be directly in his own colors.