F1: Alonso will be Lance Stroll’s teammate at Aston Martin in 2023

A few days after confirming the retirement of driver Sebastian Vettel at the end of this season, the Aston Martin Formula 1 team announced on Monday, not without surprise, that this vacant seat would be occupied by Fernando Alonso next year.

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The team led by Quebec billionaire Lawrence Stroll was quick to replace one world champion with another. Alonso will therefore be the new teammate of Lance Stroll, the boss’s son.

The Spaniard, who celebrated his 41st birthday last Friday, is the oldest of the 20 entered in the F1 World Championship. His record shows two titles (2005 and 2006), 32 wins (6e highest total in history) and in particular 98 appearances on the podium.

$32 million per season

In all likelihood, he would have signed a two-year contract, plus an option year, at the rate of 32 million Canadian dollars per season.

“I watched this team attract great people who learned how to win,” Alonso wrote on his Instagram account. And I was informed that the organization had great ambitions for the future years. »

“We are all aware that there is a lot of work to be done to reach the level of performance of the powers of the plateau, he added, but if everyone puts all their energy, we will manage to achieve our objectives. »

To reach Graham Hill

After temporarily leaving F1 to pursue other disciplines in 2019 and 2020, Alonso returned to F1 last year when he accepted an offer from French outfit Alpine. This same training (ex-Renault) which gave him his two world championships.

In 2017, despite being a full-time F1 driver, he skipped the mythical Monaco Grand Prix event to try his luck at the annual Indianapolis 500 Mile Classic.

Brilliant in his first laps on the famous oval circuit, he was however forced to retire 21 laps from the finish when he was in the fight for top honors.

His record also indicates two victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans (2018 and 2019) and two wins in the streets of Monaco in F1. He tried another shot at winning the Indy 500 in 2019 but was unable to qualify, thus losing all hope of securing the “Triple Crown”.

The late Briton Graham Hil (father of Damon) is the only driver in history to achieve this feat which consists of victories in the three most prestigious motor racing events (Monaco Grand Prix, Indy 500 and 24 Hours of Mans) on the planet.

To add to his extensive track record, Alonso started the grueling Dakar Rally in 2020, finishing 13e rank.

Filled Stroll

“I’ve known Fernando for a long time,” Lawrence Stroll said. It was always clear that his reputation as a winner matched our vision. »

“So it was natural to invite Fernando to be part of the development of our team,” he added.

Unlike Vettel, the Spanish veteran does not give the impression of having lost the sacred fire.

At the recent Canadian Grand Prix, in particular, he started on the front row, after setting the second fastest time in the last round of qualifying.

Born on July 29, 1981 (41 years old) in Oviedo, Spain

Departures in F1: 347 (2e all-time rank)

Victories: 32 (6e rank)

Head positions: 22 (13e rank)

Podiums : 98 (6e rank)

First GP: Australia 2001 (Minardi) – 12e at the arrival

First win: Hungary in 2003 (Renault)

Last win: Spain in 2013 (Ferrari)

Stables frequented: Minardi (2001), Renault (2002 to 2006), McLaren (2007), Renault (2008 and 2009), Ferrari (2010 to 2014), McLaren (2015 to 2018) and Alpine (2021 and 2022). In 2019 and 2020 he temporarily retired from F1.

World champion in 2005 and 2006

At the Singapore GP on October 2, Alonso could become the driver who has competed in the most Grands Prix in F1 history. With 350 starts to his name, Kimi Räikkönen, who left the discipline at the end of 2021, is currently the all-time leader.

1. Kimi Raikkonen (END) 350 starts

2. Fernando Alonso (ESP) 347

3. Rubens Barrichello (BRE) 323

4. Michael Schumacher (GER) 307

5. Jenson Button (UK) 306

6. Lewis Hamilton (UK) 301

7. Sebastian Vettel (GER) 290

8. Felipe Massa (BRE) 269

9. Riccardo Patrese (ITA) 256

10. Jarno Trulli (ITA) 252

Contributions: 17

Victories: 1 (with Renault in 2006)

Podiums : 3 (1st in 2006, 2nd in 2013 and 3rd in 2010)

Head positions: 1 (in 2006)

Alonso’s departure opens the door to Australian hopeful Oscar Piastri, who becomes the logical (and probably the only) candidate to succeed the Spaniard next year. The 21-year-old, who has been a reserve driver for Alpine since this year, has won everything in the development series, including in Formula 3 and Formula 2, where he was crowned champion in 2020 and 2021 respectively.

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