Aston Martin have announced the signing of Fernando Alonso on a multi-year deal from the 2023 season.
Alonso returned to Formula 1 last year with Alpine after taking a two-year sabbatical having left McLaren at the end of the 2018 season.
After winning Le Mans for the second time and attempting to qualify for the Indy 500, the Spaniard made his return at 39 years old with the French side in 2021, and scored points in 15 of the 22 races last year.
He managed a podium finish in Qatar after helping team-mate Esteban Ocon to victory in Budapest – the Enstone team’s first win since 2013 under their Lotus guise with Kimi Raikkonen.
Now 41, Alonso has added another nine top 10 finishes to his repertoire in 2022, and he might even have been on the podium in Australia were it not for a Safety Car, while an oil seal failure cost him a shot at pole.
For months, there has been plenty of attention being paid to the Alpine driver’s future, as he is out of contract with them at the end of this season, and Renault CEO, Luca de Meo, has been reluctant to give any reassurances about his driver’s future
Following Sebastian Vettel’s announcement that he will be leaving Aston Martin at the end of the current season, the British team have now taken just a few days to replace the German, by signing the double world champion.
It sees Alonso depart the team with whom he enjoyed the pinnacle of success in 2005 and 2006, and it is the third time he has said farewell to Enstone.
Speaking about his signature with Lawrence Stroll’s team, Alonso spoke of his delight at joining the Canadian’s ambitious project to win the world championship.
“This Aston Martin team is clearly applying the energy and commitment to win, and it is therefore one of the most exciting teams in Formula 1 today,” he said.
“I have known Lawrence and Lance for many years and it is very obvious that they have the ambition and passion to succeed in Formula One.
“I have watched as the team has systematically attracted great people with winning pedigrees, and I have become aware of the huge commitment to new facilities and resources at Silverstone.
“No one in Formula One today is demonstrating a greater vision and absolute commitment to winning, and that makes it a really exciting opportunity for me.”
With Lance Stroll signed to a contract at his father’s team going into next season, Aston Martin’s immediate future is sealed regarding their driver line-up.
As for Alpine, reserve driver and Formula 2 champion Oscar Piastri is the favourite to replace Alonso, meaning that Williams will be looking for another driver if they decide to replace Nicholas Latifi.
Among their options will be Formula E champion Nyck de Vries, F2 championship leader Felipe Drugovich and reserve driver Logan Sargeant, who also competes in F2.