The game of chairs in Formula 1 (F1) for the next season has begun: the two-time Spanish world champion, Fernando Alonso, will leave the Alpine team to compete from 2023 with Aston Martin, announced today Monday the English team.
The seat for the Spaniard has been released by another champion, the German Sebastian Vettel, who won four world titles during his time at Red Bull and who announced last Thursday his retirement from motorsport at the end of the 2022 campaign.
“The entire Aston Martin team is very excited to welcome Fernando’s incredible experience, brilliant top speed and expertise,” the English manufacturer wrote in a statement posted online and on social media.
“The signing of a special talent like Fernando is a strong statement of intent by an organization that is committed to developing a winning team in Formula 1,” added the note.
The oldest rider on the grid, who celebrated his 41st birthday last Friday, considered one of the best drivers of his generation, had assured that he was prepared to continue in F1 “two or three more years”.
In the final stretch of his contract with the French manufacturer, the Spanish driver will continue his F1 career on the other side of the English Channel, with a “multi-year contract”, the team specified Aston Martin.
This team “is putting the energy and commitment that it takes to win, it is one of the most promising teams in Formula 1 today,” Alonso said in the same statement.
“I have known Lawrence and Lance (his son, the team’s other driver) for a long time and it is clear that they have the ambition and passion to succeed in Formula 1,” said the Spanish champion.
Fernando Alonso’s numbers in F1
Fernando Alonso he drove in F1 between 2001 and 2018, winning the world title with Renault in 2005 and 2006, the team in which he was between 2003 and 2006 and between 2008 and 2009. The Spaniard also ran for McLaren in 2007 and between 2015 and 2018.
He also spent five years at Ferrari (2010-2014), without managing to lift a third title, despite being considered one of the best drivers.
Not having the means to win in the premier class, both at Ferrari and at McLaren, the native of Oviedo left F1 for two years, to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2018 and 2019, the world endurance champion title in 2018-2019 with Toyota, and to participate in the Indianapolis 500 and the Dakar rally .
Returning to F1 last season, at 39 years old in Alpine, new identity of Renaultfinished the campaign in a modest tenth position, ahead of his teammate, Frenchman Esteban Ocon.
The last podium for the Spaniard, the 98th of his career, dates back to the Qatar Grand Prix in 2021. His 32nd and last victory took place almost ten years ago, at the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona.
After 13 of the 22 races of the season already disputed, “Nando” occupies the provisional tenth position of the championship with 41 points. On Sunday, he finished eighth at the 2022 Hungarian Grand Prix ahead of Ocon, after a poor tire choice by the French outfit for its two drivers.
With the departure of the Spaniard, Alpine now has a free seat, which could be for its reserve driver, the 21-year-old Australian Oscar Piastri, Formula 2 champion in 2021.
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