Fernando Alonso shocked when he moved from Alpine to Aston Martin, joining a “multi-year contract” from 2023; Alonso will team up with Lance Stroll after Sebastian Vettel’s retirement is confirmed; The door is open for Oscar Piastri to replace Alonso at Alpine
By Matt Morlidge
Last updated: 01/08/22 10:03 am
Fernando Alonso will race for Aston Martin from the 2023 Formula One season, joining the team as a replacement for Sebastian Vettel.
In a shock move that was confirmed as a surprise on Monday morning, Aston Martin said Alonso had signed a “multi-year contract” to race for them.
The two-time world champion, who now drives for Alpine and turned 41 last week, will take the place of multi-title winner Sebastian Vettel after the German confirmed his retirement.
Aston Martin, currently second in the standings, hailed the signing as “a clear statement of intent” as they want to build a winning team.
Alonso, who will team up with Lance Stroll, son of team owner Lawrence, said: “This Aston Martin team is clearly applying energy and commitment to win, and so this is one of those. The most exciting team in Formula One right now.
“I have known Lawrence and Lance for many years and it is 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 am aware of the tremendous commitment to new facilities and resources at Silverstone.
“Nobody in Formula One today is showing a more foresight and absolute commitment to winning, and that makes it a really exciting opportunity for me.”
Alonso last won a race a decade ago but the 2005 and 2006 champions have shown aging form since returning to F1 with the French Alpine outfit.
He added: “I still have the desire and ambition to fight to be on top, and I want to be part of an organization committed to learning, growing and succeeding.
“We all appreciate that there is more work to be done moving forward and that we must put all our energies into working together to find performance.
“The passion and desire to perform that I have witnessed convinces me to maintain my love and commitment to the sport. I intend to win again in this sport and So I have to take the opportunities that are right for me.”
Luring Alonso is the latest coup for Aston Martin, who have made some standout behind-the-scenes moves since Stroll’s acquisition of the team – formerly known as Racing Point and before that, Force India.
“I have known and admired Fernando for many years and it has always been clear that he is a dedicated winner like me,” said Lawrence Stroll.
“It has been my goal to bring together the best and develop the right resources and organizations to succeed in this highly competitive sport, and those plans are now being conceived at Silverstone.
“Therefore, it seemed natural to invite Fernando to participate in the development of a winning team, and we were quick to assert in recent conversations that we share the same ambitions and values, and it is reasonable and easy to confirm the desire to work together.”
Explaining the Alonso deal and what’s next for Alpine
It’s rare for a sports transfer to be completely unexpected these days but that’s exactly what Aston Martin manages with Alonso, who was mostly uninterested when Vettel confirmed his retirement in Hungary on Thursday.
However, the agreement may work for all parties.
As for Aston Martin, they have a similar star to lead their F1 project and a driver who is said to have been in better form than Vettel over the past two seasons even though he has aged many years.
Alonso, meanwhile, has a multi-year contract he may not have at Alpine.
It also opens the door for Alpine to replace Alonso with Oscar Piastri, their highly regarded junior driver, who has sat on the sidelines as a substitute this season despite dominating the Formula 1 championship. 2 years ago.
Alpine is known to have considered Piastri as Alonso’s replacement and he is now apparently Esteban Ocon’s partner from 2023 – although the team has yet to comment since the Alonso news.