Just days after Sebastian Vettel informed them he would not continue next season, Aston Martin have signed Fernando Alonso as his replacement.
And it was all quite unexpected.
Vettel announced on Thursday that this season would be his last in Formula 1, the German citing his desire to spend more time with his family as his reason for quitting.
It was thought that Aston Martin would need some time to find a replacement, team boss Mike Krack having said in the days leading up to Vettel’s announcement that he did not have a “Plan B” on the cards.
He later added that the time for speculating about Aston Martin’s 2023 line up would start on Monday, the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend was for focusing on Vettel and appreciating all he had achieved in Formula 1.
But it seems while we were appreciating, Aston Martin were negotiating and with none other than Fernando Alonso, despite the 41-year-old having said he was keen to continue with Alpine.
The team made a surprise announcement on Monday morning that they had signed the Spaniard on a ‘multi-year contract’.
NEWS: @AstonMartinF1 announces Fernando Alonso for 2023.
Tap below to read more. ⬇️#WeClimbTogether
— Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team (@AstonMartinF1) August 1, 2022
Aston Martin saying the ‘whole company is very excited to bring Fernando’s incredible experience and brilliant pace and racecraft to the team.
‘The recruitment of a special talent such as Fernando is a clear statement of intent from an organisation that has committed to developing a winning Formula One team.’
The double World Champion believes in Aston Martin he has found a team with an “absolute commitment to winning”.
“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,” he said.
“I have known Lawrence and Lance for many years and it is very obvious that they have the ambition and passion to succeed in Formula One.”
Aston Martin CEO Lawrence Stroll is happy to have the 41-year-old join his team, saying he has “known and admired Fernando for many years.”
He continued: “He 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.”
Given the Alpine driver situation it is likely that it is only a matter of time before they confirm Oscar Piastri as Esteban Ocon’s 2023 team-mate.
Meanwhile, Lance Stroll has been confirmed as Fernando Alonso’s team-mate at Aston Martin for next season. Shock, horror.
Alonso makes shock Aston Martin move
Fernando Alonso has signed for Aston Martin on a multi-year deal to replace Sebastian Vettel.