The Spanish driver will take his immense talent to the lagging Aston F1 team.
The Formula 1 crazy season is in full swing, but nobody could have predicted the news Aston Martin announced today.
Sebastian Vettel announced his retirement shortly before the Hungarian Grand Prix, and now Fernando Alonso has been named as his replacement. Alonso signed a multi-year contract with Aston Martin, though the agreement's details are not known. One thing is for sure. Alonso will definitely get a cooler company car. He'll swap that Alpine A110 for a brand-new DBX 707 and a Valkyrie for the weekends.
"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," said Alonso.
Alonso took a two-year break from the sport to compete in the infamous Dakar Rally but returned to the sport in 2021, just as Renault F1 was rebranded as the Alpine F1 team. For the past year and a half, he has been partnered with Esteban Ocon. Ocon is a race winner, while Alonso has two drivers' championships behind his name.
While Alonso seems amped about the move, it's incredibly odd to all of us looking in. The Alpine F1 team is one of the 2022 season's biggest success stories. It's currently fourth in the constructor's championship, four points ahead of McLaren. Aston Martin is currently ninth on just 20 points.
Both Alpine drivers also rank in the top 10, with Aston's drivers 14th (Vettel) and 18th (Stroll), respectively.
"I have set out to bring together the best people and develop the right resources and organization to succeed in this highly competitive sport, and those plans are now taking shape at Silverstone. It seemed natural, therefore, to invite Fernando to be part of the development of a winning team, and we very quickly established in our recent conversations that we have the same ambitions and values, and it was logical and easy to confirm our desire to work together," said Lawrence Stroll, executive chairman of Aston Martin.
The latest F1 move will likely have a knock-on effect on the grid. Alpine's reserve driver, Oscar Piastri, is the favored candidate, but already there are rumors that Williams' Alex Albon might take the seat. Daniel Ricciardo loves hopping between teams, and he might jump back to the team where he found the most success after leaving Red Bull.