Why Aston Martin F1 Team Chose Fernando Alonso to Replace Sebastian Vettel

·2 min read
Photo credit: NurPhoto - Getty Images
Photo credit: NurPhoto - Getty Images

Aston Martin has recruited Fernando Alonso on a multi-year deal to replace the retiring Sebastian Vettel.

The squad announced the move Monday morning, following the Hungarian Grand Prix, with the two-time World Champion to make the switch from Alpine for 2023.

Alonso was linked to Aston Martin following news of Vettel’s retirement but indicated in Hungary that remaining at Alpine, who he joined for 2021 following a two-year absence from Formula 1, was his priority. But instead, the 41-year-old has decided to join Aston Martin as he seeks to prolong a career that yielded the 2005 and 2006 titles, as well as 32 grand prix victories.

Alonso will team with Lance Stroll, son of Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll, at the Silverstone-based team.

“This Aston Martin team is clearly applying the energy and commitment to win, and it is therefore one of the most exciting teams in Formula 1 today,” said Alonso. “I have known Lawrence and Lance for many years and it is very obvious that they have the ambition and passion to succeed in Formula 1.

“I have watched as the team has systematically attracted great people with winning pedigrees, and I have become aware of the huge commitment to new facilities and resources at Silverstone.

“No one in Formula 1 today is demonstrating a greater vision and absolute commitment to winning, and that makes it a really exciting opportunity for me.

“I still have the hunger and ambition to fight to be at the front, and I want to be part of an organisation that is committed to learn, develop and succeed. I intend to win again in this sport and therefore I have to take the opportunities that feel right to me.”

Aston Martin Team Principal Mike Krack outlined that “nearly everyone can learn from someone of Fernando’s caliber and experience.

“We are on a journey to create a winning organisation, and it is clear that Fernando will accelerate our progress and bring us to a performance in which we can take pride.

“We are delighted to have Fernando and Lance as our driver lineup next year—the combination of experience and youth will be incredibly strong and both drivers look forward to competing and working together.”

Alonso’s move to Aston Martin will ease a significant headache that had been developing at Alpine over the future of youngster Oscar Piastri.

Piastri, 21, claimed back-to-back titles in Formula 3 and Formula 2, and has this year acted as Alpine’s reserve driver in Formula 1.

Alpine was in discussions with Williams over a loan arrangement for Piastri for 2023 but Alonso’s departure means the Australian is widely expected to be promoted to a race seat at Alpine alongside Esteban Ocon.

That in turn will enhance the prospects for American Logan Sargeant to stake his claim for a seat at backers Williams.