Fernando Alonso has surprised the entire Formula 1 world, after announcing that he will be replacing Sebastian Vettel at the Aston Martin F1 Team.
Vettel announced prior to the Hungarian Grand Prix that he would be retiring from F1 at the end of the season, leaving a seat at the British team alongside Lance Stroll.
Whilst Alonso had been linked with the team before, he wasn’t one of the rumoured candidates to replace the four-time World Champion.
It appeared certain that it would be Mick Schumacher who would take his ‘mentor’s’ seat, with Ralf Schumacher believing that his nephew would be the first driver the team would look at.
“Sebastian is leaving and it’s not that easy for Aston Martin to replace him,” Ralf Schumacher told Sky Deutschland before the Alonso announcement.
“If they want an experienced man who knows the current cars, then Mick is actually the first to look at.
“And then the test driver, Nico Hulkenberg.
“Yes, Mick started weakly compared to Magnussen, but then improved and found his way.”
It wasn’t just the former F1 driver who appeared to be confident that Schumacher would move from the Haas F1 Team to Aston Martin; so, did his Sky Deutschland colleague Sascha Roos.
Roos explained how the 23-year-old’s current team, Haas, aren’t “stable” enough for the talented German, who was also recommended by Vettel himself to replace him at Aston Martin.
“I think Mick is moving to Aston Martin,” Roos believed.
“The omens are just good for him being in a different environment. Haas seems like it’s not that stable for him personally.
“Aston Martin is a good address for him.”
Alonso moving to Aston Martin has also taken a lot of pressure off Daniel Ricciardo’s shoulders, with the McLaren F1 Team driver supposedly having been at threat from Alpine reserve driver Oscar Piastri.
Despite already being contracted for 2023, Ricciardo is under immense pressure to retain his seat, with his performances continuing to disappoint the Woking-based side.
Piastri will now not be going to McLaren, or to Williams Racing to replace Nicholas Latifi.
The 2021 F2 World Champion will be taking Alonso’s seat for next season, alongside Esteban Ocon.
Again, prior to the announcement, Ralf believed that Piastri would fit perfectly at McLaren.
“If they have the opportunity, then I have to honestly say – the faster a young driver is in that seat, the more experience he can gain,” he said.
The German is expecting ‘silly season’ to well and truly ignite now, with five seats still yet to be filled for next season.
“As a rule, you look around for drivers in August or September,” he concluded.