Aston Martin employee pays the price for Fernando Alonso’s success

Fernando Alonso has been leading Aston Martin this year, after replacing Sebastian Vettel at the Silverstone-based team.

Fernando Alonso’s remarkable podium achievements since joining Aston Martin this season have led to unexpected consequences, with his composite technician, Sam Russell, fulfilling a unique bet by getting a new tattoo. 

Underestimating Alonso’s podium potential, Russell accepted a bet that he soon came to regret.

Alonso made an immediate impact upon joining Aston Martin at the start of the season, securing third place at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix. 

He emerged as the closest challenger to the dominant Red Bull duo.

Want to work in Formula 1? Browse the latest F1 job vacancies

As the Formula 1 circus arrived in Saudi Arabia, the Aston Martin team tried to manage expectations, with team principal Mike Krack downplaying their chances for podium success. Russell, however, fell victim to optimism.

“I lost a bet in Saudi Arabia with Mark, a guy I work with,” Russell revealed. 

“He said, ‘If we get a podium, I get to design the tattoo and pay for it, but you have to get it.’ 

“And I was like, ‘Okay.’ 

Article continues below

“I didn’t think we would get one. It turns out the car was quite fast. 

“So I need to get a pie on number two; I need to get it updated.”

Alonso’s podium celebration took an unexpected twist when he was initially penalised with a five-second penalty. 

The stewards had ruled that Aston Martin had conducted work on the car while serving an in-race penalty.

The penalty was related to a rear jackman, not Sam Russell, who was responsible for the front wheel. 

The rear jackman had made contact with the car as he positioned the jack, but Aston Martin argued that it did not constitute working on the car. 

After a review, the stewards overturned the penalty, and Alonso’s podium was reinstated, leaving Russell to honour the wager.

Alonso expressed his satisfaction with the podium finish at the time, saying, “I am happy in the end with the result tonight and our second podium. 

“We showed that we can be the second fastest team and we had good pace throughout the race. 

“It was my mistake at the start with the position on the grid, but we pushed to make up that time. 

“Coming into this weekend, we were not sure exactly where we would be, so this is good news for us.”

READ: Nico Rosberg makes ‘bit strange’ claim about Charles Leclerc

The Spanish veteran driver continued his impressive streak by securing a hat-trick of third-place finishes to start the season. 

Subsequently, he added four more podiums to his tally, currently occupying the third position in the Drivers’ Championship standings. 

Alonso trails Sergio Perez by 49 points and holds a six-point advantage over Lewis Hamilton.