Aston Martin ‘fishing’ Fernando Alonso | Sports

Just four days after Sebastian Vettel announced his retirement from Formula 1 at the end of this season, Aston Martin made it official on Monday that the person in charge of replacing the German from next year will be Fernando Alonso. The Asturian, who turned 41 last Friday, will participate in his twentieth championship in 2023 after having previously passed through four teams (Minardi, Renault, McLaren and Ferrari), and with a record that highlights the two consecutive titles that he won in 2005 and 2006. (Renault), with which he broke the dominant inertia of Michael Schumacher, who chained five crowns between 2000 and 2004, all wearing the red suit of Il Cavallino Rampante.

After a first farewell which for two years (2019 and 2020) led him to try out other disciplines outside F1, the Spaniard returned in 2021 to the hands of Renault, renamed Alpine, which is given to him to plead the revival of a project that has never met the expectations it has raised. After 13 Grands Prix, Alonso is tenth in the table, with only 41 points and fifth place (Silverstone) as the biggest prize. Between this, the desire of the French structure to renew it downwards – both in duration and in quantity – the talks around its renewal entered an impasse with a brutal outcome. Vettel’s departure has not only given him leverage to put pressure on his current line-up, but has also created a space that will ultimately be the one he will occupy, surprising as it may seem where the two-time champion’s next destination will be. of the world.

Aston Martin is the team left over from Jordan’s roots, which Canadian tycoon Lawrence Stroll bought in 2018, when racing as Force India, for Lance, his son, to compete. Since 2005, she has changed her identity up to five times (Jordan, Midland, Spyker, Force India, Racing Point and Aston Martin), although all this turmoil has never allowed her to equal third place in the statistics. reserved for manufacturers. of 1999, in its first stage. In his second year as an Aston Martin, and despite using Mercedes engines, the best result to date is second place for Vettel at the 2021 Azerbaijan Grand Prix – the only podium finish so far – a race which several eruptions they became a real carousel , and it was decided in a sprint lap. After the halfway point of the 2022 calendar, the German is 14th in the standings, with only 16 points, 25 points less than Alonso and 242 less than Max Verstappen, the leader. Stroll, for his part, is in 18th place, with only four points in his locker, all following tenth positions.

Difficult to interpret this last movement of Alonso, historically much more skilful with a wheel in the hands than to decide on the road to follow. In this sense, the figure of Martin Whitmarsh has surely played a relevant role, with whom he has already rubbed shoulders during his time at McLaren and who since last year has held the position of CEO of the Silverstone troupe.

“I still have the hunger and the ambition to fight to ride at the front,” Alonso said in the statement, in which the duration of the agreement is not specified and it is only specified that it this is a multi-year bond. “I intend to win again in this sport and therefore I have to take the opportunities that seem appropriate to me,” added the rider, who finished sixth in the Hungaroring on Sunday. As he has done at each of the previous air changes, the pilot pointed to his future garage as the most capable of achieving the objectives he has set himself. “No one in F1 today shows a greater vision and a greater commitment to winning. [que Aston Martin]and that makes it a great opportunity for me,” reiterates Alonso, whose place at Alpine will most likely be filled by Australian Oscar Piastri, a member of the company’s training program.

“I have known and admired Fernando for a long time,” agreed Lawrence Stroll, who felt it was “natural” to make him an offer after learning of Vettel’s departure. “Quickly, we saw that we shared the same ambitions and values, so it made sense to confirm the intention to go hand in hand,” says the owner of the entire shed.

You can follow EL PAÍS Sports in Facebook Yes Twitteror sign up here to receive our weekly newsletter.

Eugenia Tenny

"Internet fanatic. Web ninja. Social media trailblazer. Devoted thinker. Friend of animals everywhere."

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.