Swapping Fernando Alonso for Sebastian Vettel changed Aston Martin ‘dynamics’

Henry Valantine
A calm relaxed Fernando Alonso speaking with Aston Martin. Abu Dhabi November 2022 age

A calm relaxed Fernando Alonso speaking with Aston Martin on his first day of testing with the team at the post-season test. Abu Dhabi November 2022

Aston Martin team principal Mike Krack is confident Fernando Alonso will help take the team “even further”, after Sebastian Vettel already brought them to a “different level”.

Alonso signed for the Silverstone-based team in the days after Vettel announced his retirement from Formula 1, the Spaniard moving from Alpine on a multi-year deal at a time when Aston Martin are looking to make big strides in terms of competitiveness.

The first of three buildings at the team’s new factory is pencilled for completion by May, with staff set to move across to their new offices mid-season as they prepare for a significant upgrade in their facilities, following several years of investment by team owner Lawrence Stroll.

After two consecutive P7 finishes in the Constructors’ standings, Aston Martin will be pushing for a jump in speed relative to their rivals in 2023, though their team boss admitted there is a difference in approach between the two multiple World Champions in how they go about their work.

“That’s a good question,” Krack said in an interview with AS when asked why signing Alonso could be a going a ‘step further’ to Vettel.

“Because Seb is a four-time World Champion, but he is a different person, he has taken the decision to stop when Fernando has taken the decision to continue for longer, that changes the motivation of the team. There are dynamics in the team around that.

“We are grateful for what Sebastian has brought, he took the team to a different level; but the combination of the investment behind it and Fernando’s hunger will take us even further.”

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Krack also remains convinced that Alonso’s talent and raw speed remains undimmed as he prepares to mark two decades in Formula 1, to a degree that he sees him right at the sharp end in equal circumstances – though the team’s job is to ensure the AMR23 is in a position to be able to allow him to race as far up the field as possible.

“In a car identical to everyone else’s, on the front row,” Krack said of Alonso’s pace potential. “The main task is to provide a car that is capable of doing that for Fernando. If we produce it, he will put it where it needs to be.”

Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel fundamentally different drivers

Vettel admitted ahead of his retirement that, although he and Alonso spent many years together at the front of the field dicing for race victories, they don’t actually know each other too well away from the track.

Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer, formerly of Aston Martin himself, said last year that he feels they are similar to work with, however, describing them as “different in personality, but similar in their requests to be able to go faster, about what they do.”

So while their end goal is the same and they both rank among the most talented and successful Formula 1 drivers in the history of the sport, their careers are proof that there is more than one way about going about a successful F1 career.