The Aston Martin F1 Team are confident that they can make their way towards the front of the grid in the years to come, after signing Fernando Alonso.
Alonso will replace four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel, who will retire from the sport at the end of the season.
The Spaniard’s deal with Aston Martin will see him wearing British racing green for potentially three years, with the deal being for an initial two years but with the option for an additional third.
Aston Martin have so far failed to live up to expectations since taking over Racing Point, with just one podium to their name so far.
By joining Aston Martin, Alonso is leaving the Alpine F1 Team, who are currently considerably stronger than the side he’s joining.
It leaves many wondering why he’s made a potential backwards step, should he wish to return to winning ways.
Aston Martin team principal Mike Krack thinks the signing of Alonso shows the team’s “clear statement” that they want to win, after signing a driver with “killer instinct”.
“He just has that killer instinct,” said Krack of Alonso, speaking in an interview on Aston Martin’s own website.
“No matter what, you know that Fernando will always give you everything: always push 100 per cent, always extract the maximum from the car and the team. His racecraft is exceptional – a formidable combination of confidence, instinct and intelligence.
“Signing Fernando is a clear statement of our intent at Aston Martin F1. We are not on the grid to make up the numbers. We are here to win.
“We are on a journey to the front of the grid and Fernando’s decision to join us on that journey – to have a driver of his calibre believe in the Aston Martin F1 project – is a great compliment to our team and the work we are doing.
“He will demand a lot from us, but that’s to be expected from a multiple world champion. Fernando will be a driving force as we climb together and, like everyone in the team, I cannot wait to work with him.
“The prospect of having Fernando and Lance [Stroll] in the car next year is a hugely exciting one.”
The team have already announced that they have switched their focus to next season’s car, which they’ll hope will be considerably better than this season’s AMR22.
Aston Martin have been arguably the second-weakest team so far this year, with the British team currently ninth in the Constructors’ Championship.
As has been seen on countless occasions, Alonso isn’t afraid of saying exactly what he thinks, no matter how good or bad.
Krack doesn’t see this as an issue, with the team setting their sights on the very top with one of the sport’s most successful drivers.
“In the future, I see Aston Martin F1 as a team where success is the norm,” said Krack.
“I see a team that’s not surprised to be on the podium, that’s not surprised to be winning races. We need to reach a point where we’re constantly delivering excellent results on the track, but also believe in our ability to do so.
“We’re talking about building a winning culture here – this takes time – and, first, we have to develop a faster car. Our journey has only just begun and there will be challenges, but the fighting spirit of Aston Martin F1 is second to none and born out of the passion of our people.
“It’s a team I’m incredibly proud to be a part of and I’m very excited for what the future holds.”