Fernando Alonso makes shock move from Alpine to Aston Martin, to join “multi-year deal” from 2023; Alonso will be Lance Stroll’s partner after Sebastian Vettel confirms retirement; Door open for Oscar Piastri to replace Alonso at Alpine
by Matt Morlidge
Last Updated: 01/08/22 10:03 am
Fernando Alonso will join the team from the 2023 Formula 1 season as Sebastian Vettel’s replacement for Aston Martin.
In a surprise move that was confirmed out of the blue on Monday morning, Aston Martin says Alonso has signed a “multi-year deal” to race for them.
The two-time world champion, who currently drives for Alpine and turned 41 last week, will fill the position of fellow multiple title winner Sebastian Vettel after the German’s retirement is confirmed.
Aston Martin, who are currently second in the standings, hailed the signing as “a clear statement of intent” as they look to build a winning team.
“This Aston Martin team is clearly applying the energy and commitment it takes to win, and so it is one of the most exciting teams in Formula One today,” said Alonso, who is the son of team owner Lawrence, Lance Stroll. will be a partner.
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“I have known Lawrence and Lance for many years and it is very clear that they have the ambition and passion to succeed in Formula One.
“I have seen the team systematically attract great people with a winning pedigree, and I become aware of the huge commitment to new facilities and resources at Silverstone.
“Nobody in Formula One today is demonstrating a great vision and absolute commitment to win, and this is a really exciting opportunity for me.”
Alonso last won a race a decade ago but the 2005 and 2006 champions have shown old form since returning to F1 with French outfit Alpine.
He said: “I still have the fighting appetite and ambition to be at the forefront, and I want to be part of an organization that is committed to learning, growing and succeeding.
“We all appreciate that there is much more to be done to get to the front, and we must put all our energy into working together to find performance.
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“The passion and desire to perform has convinced me to keep my joy and commitment towards the sport. I intend to win again in this sport and hence I have to take advantage of those opportunities Which seems right to me.”
Luring Alonso is the latest coup for Aston Martin, who has made several high-profile moves behind the scenes since Stroll acquired 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 committed winner like me,” said Lawrence Stroll.
“I set out to bring the best people together and develop the right resources and organization to succeed in this highly competitive sport, and those plans are now taking shape at Silverstone.
“So it seemed natural to invite Fernando to be part of the development of a winning team, and we established very early in our recent conversations that we have similar ambitions and values, and it was logical and easy that we work together. Confirm your desire to do so.”
Explaining the Alonso deal and what next for Alpine?
It’s rare that any game transfer comes as a complete surprise these days, but Aston Martin did the same with Alonso, who was barely a name of interest when Vettel confirmed his retirement in Hungary on Thursday .
However, the deal may be favorable to all parties.
As for Aston Martin, he has the same established star to lead his F1 project and a driver who, despite his age, has been in better form than Vettel for the past two seasons.
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Meanwhile, Alonso has a multi-year contract he would not have got at Alpine.
It also opens the door for Alpine to replace Alonso with Oscar Piastri, their incredibly highly rated junior driver who sat as reserve this season despite dominating the Formula 2 championship last year.
Alpine had already considered Piastri as Alonso’s replacement and is now in the clear to partner Esteban Ocon from 2023 – although the team has yet to comment since the Alonso news.