Vettel announced on Thursday that he would be leaving the Formula 1 paddock at the end of the year, bringing the curtain down on a 15-year career in the sport.
Indeed, attention quickly turned to who might replace the German at the Silverstone-based team, with a number of drivers linked with the seat.
Alonso was one of them, with him able to provide similar levels of title-winning experience to Seb to the team and, with the F1 summer break underway, the big news has dropped that Fernando is leaving Alpine and joining Aston on a multi-year deal.
Explaining the move in an Aston Martin press release, Alonso said:
“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 One today. 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. I still have the hunger and ambition to fight to be at the front, and I want to be part of an organisation that is committed to learn, develop and succeed. We all appreciate that there is much to be done to get to the front, and that we must apply all our energies in working together to find performance. The passion and desire to perform that I have witnessed convince me to maintain my enjoyment and commitment to the sport. I intend to win again in this sport and therefore I have to take the opportunities that feel right to me.”
Aston owner CEO Lawrence Stroll added:
“I have known and admired Fernando for many years and it has always been clear that he is a committed winner like me. I have set out to bring together the best people and develop the right resources and organisation 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.”
There’s now a seat available at Alpine and many expect it to be taken but their young driver Oscar Piastri, with the French/British team already going on record to say they wanted him on the grid for 2023 in either their car or another.
The driver line-up for next season continues to take shape.