Double Formula One world champion Fernando Alonso, will replace four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel, by joining Aston Martin on a multi-year contract for the 2023 season.
The 2022 Formula One season will mark the end of Vettel’s 16-year career, during which he won four world championships. He announced his retirement ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Aston Martin rapidly filled the gap created by the German’s retirement decision by announcing on Monday morning that Fernando Alonso would replace Vettel for the 2023 season on a multi-year contract deal.
Fernando Alonso returned to Formula 1 in 2021 with the Alpine team on a two-year contract that he will not be renewing after a two-year hiatus during which he raced and won the World Endurance Championship, including two wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, as well as competing in the Indy 500 and the Dakar Rally.
“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,” Fernando Alonso said on his Aston Martin contract announcement.
“I have known Lawrence and 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 1 today is demonstrating a greater vision and absolute commitment to winning, and that makes it a really exciting opportunity for me.”
Alonso was crucial in securing the team and Esteban Ocon’s debut victory at the Hungarian Grand Prix by holding back Lewis Hamilton for eleven laps, preventing the Mercedes driver from catching up to Ocon before the checkered flag in his first season with Alpine back in 2021. He would later claim his first F1 podium since 2014 at the Qatar Grand Prix.
The Spanish driver who turned 41 last week, made his Formula 1 debut with the Minardi team in 2001 and has since competed in nineteen seasons, placing 98 times on the podium, 32 of which have been victories.
Alonso is also on track to pass Kimi Raikkonen as the driver with the most Grand Prix starts before the season’s end.
“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,” he added. “We all appreciate that there is much to be done to get to the front, and that we must apply all our energies in working together to find performance.”
”The passion and desire to perform that I have witnessed convince me to maintain my enjoyment and commitment to the sport. I intend to win again in this sport and therefore I have to take the opportunities that feel right to me.”
Aston Martin F1 team owner Lawrence Stroll 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.”
Fernando Alonso currently ranks 10th in the 2022 Formula 1 championship standings as Alpine places fourth in the constructors Championship.