Aston Martin team principal, Mike Krack, has asserted that there was no need to try and convince Fernando Alonso to join the side, as he already knew what the British team are striving for.
Aston Martin were heading towards the summer break intent on securing a new deal with Sebastian Vettel that would see him remain at the team beyond the end of his contract this year.
Between them, Vettel and team-mate Lance Stroll have scored points 11 times in 2022, and have achieved a best finish of sixth through the German, which he achieved at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
However, with the Silverstone-based squad languishing in the midfield fight, the 35-year-old decided to call time on his career.
With four world titles and 53 wins under his belt, Vettel will go down as a legend of the sport, but Aston Martin remain set on their championship ambitions.
They proved that by acquiring double world champion, Fernando Alonso, to race alongside Lance Stroll in 2023.
Krack revealed during the Belgian Grand Prix there were other names in the hat to replace Vettel, but they went with 32-time race winner Alonso.
“When Sebastian announced what his plans were, you need to look at who is available and who is the best one available,” he told Sky Sports.
“So, there were a few others but I think there is no need that I go now into detail.”
The Aston Martin boss also affirmed that the team were principally set on keeping Vettel around before he told them he wanted to leave.
“We were always clear that we wanted to continue with Sebastian so it is not a fair question at the end of the day,” added Krack.
“Our plans were to continue with Sebastian, we always said it, and an alternative was only coming alive as soon as Sebastian said that he is going to stop.”
The German joked that he would “take both” Vettel and Alonso, and run “three cars” along with Stroll.
Alonso’s relationship with Alpine broke down when they told him that they wanted to offer him a one-plus-one deal once his current contract expired at the end of this season.
This was partly due to his age, and partly because, perhaps more cynically, the French side wanted to put reserve driver Oscar Piastri in the car in the coming years.
When it became clear that there was no guarantee the 41-year-old would be on the grid beyond the end of next year, Alonso decided to sign with Aston Martin’s billionaire owner, Lawrence Stroll.
Given the lofty ambitions of the team, and the wealth of experience working in Silverstone, the former Ferrari and McLaren driver did not need his arm to be twisted.
“I think there was not so much convincing work necessary,” stated Krack.
“I think Fernando has a very big network in Formula 1, he knows more or less what’s going on in every team.
“I think he sees a role in our project, with the people we’re hiring with our infrastructure, but also not to forget the amount of people, good people that we already had on board.
“So from that point of view, there was no convincing work.”
Piastri will sign for McLaren after he became impatient with the team telling him he might not be awarded a race seat until 2025, but they wanted to keep him as part of their system anyway in case Alonso left.
That situation also became untenable, so he will replace Daniel Ricciardo at the end of this year.
The 33-year-old may yet head back to the Enstone side he left at the end of 2020, but AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly is currently looking the most viable candidate.