Aston Martin suggests Fernando Alonso should thank Sebastian Vettel

Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel retired from Formula 1 after the 2022 season, having spent 15 years on the grid.

Aston Martin’s team principal Mike Krack has praised Sebastian Vettel for his work in helping develop the successful AMR23, which has earned the constructor three consecutive podium finishes.

Despite stepping away from Formula 1, Vettel worked with the team throughout the last season to help the team turnaround its fortunes, as part of a long-term strategy to fight for titles.

“I think he has his merits in where the [AMR23] is today,” Krack told reporters. 

“We had many, many meetings last year where he gave us a hint. Do this, or do that, or do not do this with the new car, so I think he has his merits in here.”

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Vettel’s loyal fanbase has been disappointed that he left the sport just before Aston Martin became competitive, leaving the four-time world champion unable to add to his 53 Grand Prix victories.

Despite the new found success for the team, Krack wouldn’t discuss whether he felt Vettel had left the team too soon, having only been at Aston Martin for two seasons. 

“We have to respect the decision that he took,” Krack said.

“He reflected for a long time before he made that decision, and he has to move on.

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“If it’s a shame for him, I think you should ask him,” the team principal added.

Fernando Alonso replaced the German driver at the team, bringing his experience to the team, as it looks to push Red Bull for the Constructors’ Championship.

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While Red Bull has secured an early lead in the 2023 title race with 123 points to Aston Martin’s 65, the Silverstone-based team is hoping it can capitalise on reliability issues from the reigning champions to take the lead.

Max Verstappen’s Red Bull has struggled with a driveshaft issue that forced him out of Q1 in Saudi Arabia, while Sergio Perez’s Red Bull crashed out of qualifying in Australia due to a brake problem. 

Alonso is remaining on the tails of his Red Bull rivals in the Drivers’ Standings with 45 points, only 24 behind Verstappen.