Fernando Alonso to join Aston Martin for 2023 F1 season

Fernando Alonso will join Aston Martin for the 2023 season on a multi-year deal, replacing the retiring Sebastian Vettel.
Fernando Alonso (ESP)
Fernando Alonso (ESP)

Vettel, the four-time F1 champion, announced that he would retire at the end of the 2022 season leaving a significant vacancy for an Aston Martin driver.

The team have now swooped to snap up Alonso, the two-time champion, who will leave Alpine at this year's conclusion to link up with his new employers.

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Alonso, aged 41, said: "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 One today.

"I have known [owner Lawrence Stroll] and [driver Lance Stroll] for many years and it is very obvious that they have the ambition and passion to succeed in Formula One.

"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 One today is demonstrating a greater vision and absolute commitment to winning, and that makes it a really exciting opportunity for me."

Alonso move is the most significant of 2023 driver market so far

Fernando Alonso (ESP) Alpine F1 Team on the drivers parade. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 13, Hungarian Grand Prix,
Fernando Alonso (ESP) Alpine F1 Team on the drivers parade. Formula 1…

Alonso's switch from Alpine to Aston Martin is the latest piece of the puzzle in the F1 2023 driver market.

Alpine must now find a new teammate for Esteban Ocon, while Alonso will link up with Lance Stroll.

Aston Martin will be the fifth F1 team that Alonso has represented.

The Spaniard started in 2001 with Minardi, moved to Renault then McLaren, before returning to Renault. He won his two world championships with Renault, moved to Ferrari, then returned to McLaren.

He missed the 2020 season before returning with Alpine.

Why did Alonso choose to leave Alpine?

Fernando Alonso (ESP), Alpine F1 Team Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 13, Hungarian Grand Prix, Budapest, Hungary, Race
Fernando Alonso (ESP), Alpine F1 Team Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 13,…

Ahead of the F1 Hungarian Grand Prix, Alonso insisted that "my priority is to be with Alpine - probably my wish is to stay".

He insisted that he wanted his future sorted within the F1 summer break, which began immediately after the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Alonso's current deal with Alpine is due to expire at the end of 2022 and, although he admitted that he hadn't yet held talks to extend his stay, he believed an agreement could be found "in 10 minutes".

He was asked about replacing Vettel at Aston Martin and answered by revealing how he spoke to the team in 2020 but "it didn't go well".

But Alonso did admit: "All the teams are an option as long as they don’t have two drivers signed."

That proved to be a statement which paved the way for him to put pen to paper with his new team, and announce an agreement just four days after those words.

Lawrence Stroll: Alonso is a winner… like me!

Fernando Alonso (ESP) Alpine F1 Team. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 13, Hungarian Grand Prix, Budapest, Hungary,
Fernando Alonso (ESP) Alpine F1 Team. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 13,…

Lawrence Stroll, Aston Martin executive chairman, said: “I have known and admired Fernando for many years and it has always been clear that he is a committed winner like me. 

“I have set out to bring together the best people and develop the right resources and organisation to succeed in this highly competitive sport, and those plans are now taking shape at Silverstone. 

“It seemed natural therefore to invite Fernando to be part of the development of a winning team, and we very quickly established in our recent conversations that we have the same ambitions and values, and it was logical and easy to confirm our desire to work together.”

Mike Krack, team principal, said: “I have witnessed the excitement in the engineering team and throughout the whole organisation at the opportunity to work with Fernando. 

“We know that nearly everyone can learn from someone of Fernando’s calibre and experience. We are confident that he will inspire everyone to lift their game, and that will only enhance the already infectious energy that exists within the team. 

“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 line-up next year - the combination of experience and youth will be incredibly strong and both drivers look forward to competing and working together. 

“The team has a new leadership focused on the development of AMR23, and we are all thrilled that they and our future projects will benefit from the knowledge and experience that Fernando will bring.”

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