Friday, October 7

Fernando Alonso leaves Alpine and signs for Aston Martin

Fernando Alonso. / Eph

The Asturian changes his air after an unsuccessful return to the home where he won his two World Cups and will replace Vettel in the team of billionaire Lawrence Stroll

Fernando Alonso will continue in Formula 1 but it will not be in Alpine. Early this Monday, still with the embers of the Hungarian GP, ​​the Aston Martin team has announced the signing of the Spaniard from the 2023 season on a multi-year contract. The summer bomb is here.

The unfulfilled promises by Alpine, a project with many doubts about its future, the disagreements with the team leader Otmar Szafnauer and the attitude of Esteban Ocon who was about to throw him off the track that same Sunday at the Hungaroring are some factors for those that Alonso has not waited for that conversation to take place that they had pending for the summer between him and the French team. The risk he takes is remarkable: signing for a team that is far from winning today, but that has more than enough resources thanks to the enormous fortune of its owner, Lawrence Stroll, who will also be the father of his next partner, Lance Stroll. It is precisely the presence of that support and of the project that has made him opt for it.

“The Aston Martin team is clearly deriving the energy and commitment to win and is therefore one of the most exciting teams in Formula 1 today. I have known Lawrence and Lance for many years and it is obvious that they have the ambition and passion to succeed in Formula 1. I have seen how the team has consistently attracted great people with winning pedigrees, and I have noticed the great commitment to the new facilities and resources at Silverstone. No one in Formula 1 today is showing greater vision and absolute commitment to victory, and that makes it a really exciting opportunity for me.”

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The news not only represents a revolution in the paddock due to the change of colors of the Asturian, but also guarantees that he will be at least one more season, although they aim to be no less than two. “I still have the hunger and ambition to fight to be at the forefront, and I want to be part of an organization committed to learning, developing and succeeding. We all appreciate that there is much to be done to get to the front, and we must apply all our energies to working together to find performance. The passion and desire to perform that I have witnessed convinces 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 seem appropriate to me, “he explains about it.

A negotiation of more than a year

It cannot be said that Alonso’s return to Alpine has been fruitful. ‘The Plan’ broke down from the start, not so much because it was going to be a winning car, but because the promises were not kept. The hesitant drift that the Anglo-French team had undertaken and, above all, the lack of affection and respect for the driver who had made them champions for the last time has been what has definitely forced Alonso to take the exit door.

Conversations between Alonso and Aston Martin have been going on for some time. More than a year, exactly. In August 2021, Lawrence Stroll called the Asturian to ask about his availability: they wanted to replace Sebastian Vettel already in 2022. The German had advanced his intention to retire soon, and although that march did not finally take place, the confirmation that the German was not going to continue has been what has led to the final decision. Alonso changes a team in the ascending line (Alpine is, with 10 races to go, 4th in the Constructors’ World Championship) for a structure that hovers around the lower positions but has much greater potential for improvement. Put in silver: Stroll is putting dumpsters of money into creating a winning squad.

However, a certain feeling of jumping into the void cannot be avoided. Alonso has already shown in his career that he has not always been successful in team changes: the flagrant case of McLaren in 2007 is a nightmare that will haunt him on a recurring basis. However, you have to wait. There is a project: whether it is a winner is another story. Who wants to find unexpected treasures needs to explore unknown lands, even if that means giving up the comfort of what is known for a promise that, a priori, is not going to be much worse.

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