Aston Martin warned ‘heads always rolled’ at Fernando Alonso’s previous teams

Sam Cooper
Fernando Alonso walks the grid. Zandvoort September 2022.

Alpine driver Fernando Alonso walks to the front of the grid for the national anthem. Netherlands September 2022.

Aston Martin have been warned that with Fernando Alonso’s arrival, heads could roll as that is what has “always” happened at his previous teams.

Aston Martin announced at the start of the summer break that two-time World Champion Alonso had been chosen as the replacement for Sebastian Vettel, who is retiring at the end of this season.

The Spaniard was handed a two-year contract which will keep him in the sport until he is 43 but Alonso has been known to be very demanding when it comes to what he expects from his team.

Former F1 driver turned TV commentator Marc Surer has suggested the same could happen at Aston Martin if the team does not act wisely.

“He is fully motivated, he pushes the team and yes, he is also a politician,” Surer said, as per “At the teams where he was before, there were always heads that rolled. Let’s see how it will be at Aston Martin now.”

Despite this, Surer has backed the 41-year-old to succeed at this new team where he will be working alongside another man who has high expectations, team owner Lawrence Stroll.

Surer said it will be “funny” for the media to see how they get on but that he believes it will work out as they are both “pulling in the same direction.”

“I think the two are similarly wired,” the 71-year-old said. “They want success by any means necessary. Stroll is happy when Alonso steps on the gas a bit – internally, too. I think the two of them are pulling in the same direction.”

Team principal Mike Krack has also stated that they want Alonso to ask “uncomfortable questions” as it will lead to better results.

2022 has so far been a terrible season for the team and they are languishing in P9 in the Constructors’ Championship with only Williams behind them.

The team also essentially scrapped a whole car design when they unveiled their B-spec at the Spanish Grand Prix but that has yet to yield the results they would have been hoping for.

The team’s highest finishing position this campaign is currently Vettel’s P6 finish in Baku.

Surer believes they are on the up though and has highlighted the arrival of Dan Fallows who was the former head of aerodynamics at Red Bull before he left to join Aston Martin in January of this year.

The former Arrows driver said Aston Martin have yet to feel the full benefit of Fallows’ expertise as he joined too late to have any real influence on the 2022 car.

“They always built a car at the beginning of the year and then looked at what the others had done and from Barcelona on, they were there [more in line with the rest of the field].

“So the team is obviously not capable of building a fast car on its own. At least that was certainly the case until now.

“[But] now they have brought in good people. Dan Fallows was chief aerodynamicist at Red Bull, and Red Bull has the best aerodynamics in Formula 1, and if the long-time chief aerodynamicist at Red Bull is coming to Aston Martin, then things must be moving forward.

“I think that already gives hope for next year.”

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