This is the transfer that no one expected in F1: Fernando Alonso will leave Alpine at the end of 2022 to join Aston Martin from the 2023 season. What are the reasons for this divorce? What motivates Spanish? Attempts to respond the day after the announcement of the crash of the Spanish driver.
The day after a hotly contested Hungarian Grand Prix, we told each other that the Formula 1 he had closed the first part of his book 2022the head partly his the traditional summer holidays.
As a prelude to the magyar sleevethe paddock had already gotten used to the idea that Sebastian Vettel will no longer be there in 2023. The four-time world champion had just made the announcement, at the same time as launching his instagram account (also not sure if it powers it much once the headphones are hung, but that’s another story…).
Who will replace Vettel?
who says retirement, said the steering wheel to grab, right? The speculations about the identity of Vettel’s future replacement did not take long to fuel the “radio paddock”. Mick Schumacher? Nico Hulkenberg? Daniel Ricciardo? Oscar Piastri? Or even Fernando Alonso?
Not many people believed in this last option, the double world champion being more than ever expected stack again in Alpine…but actually, no! To the general surpriseMonday morning, Aston Martin sent one communicated to the media, meaning Alonso had just signed a multi-year contract with them from 2023!
NEWS: @AstonMartinF1 announces Fernando Alonso for 2023.
Tap below to read more. ⬇️#EscalemJunts
— Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team (@AstonMartinF1) August 1, 2022
Alpine was not aware!
Not only observers, the media and fans have welcomed the news with surprise. Alpine toosince it is reading the communicated issued by Aston Martin which Otmar Szafnauerthe main team of the French national team, has heard the news!
“This is the first confirmation I have,” he told our colleaguesautosport “Of course, there are all kinds of rumors in the paddock, and I had heard that Aston Martin was interested, but I was convinced that we were very close to retaining Fernando. »
“I haven’t spoken to him since that announcement, because he’s on a boat somewhere in the Greek islands.” add. “But I was frankly surprised because I had asked him the question again last weekend and he replied:”No, no, no, I didn’t sign anything’. And the next morning I saw the press release sent out by Aston Martin. So yes, I was surprised, I won’t hide it from you. »
Why leave Alpine?
The question of 1,000 euros. Let’s take the possible reasons one by one. The lure of profit? Third highest paid driver on the 2022 grid, it is unlikely that thefinancial aspect is the only lever in this decision, although Aston Martin is able to offer you one similar salaryor even higher, than what touches Enstone.
The race for performance? Necessarily And in this radius, the stable of Llorenç Passeig has more than one asset up his sleeve, starting for a new factory under construction at Silverstone. The Canadian businessman does not lack ambitions to make his structure a winning machine titles, which Alonso points out.
“Aston Martin is clearly showing the energy and commitment needed to win. I have known Lawrence and Lance for many years and it is obvious that they have the ambition and passion to succeed in F1. I saw the team consistently attracting great people with winning pedigrees and I realized the huge commitment to the new facilities and resources at Silverstone. No one in F1 today shows a greater vision and absolute commitment to winning, and this is a truly exciting opportunity for me. »
A question mark it continues, however, with Aston Martin’s ability to do so raise your level of play in the platoon in the next two seasons. Currently, the former Racing Point team has traded much less than Alpine technical transition and suffer comparison in the Constructors’ Championship (20 points against 99).
Difference of opinion on the contract ? This is the option chosen by several observers to justify this unexpected transfer. While the details of the negotiations are still unclear, and will undoubtedly remain so, it is rumored that Alonso was inclined to extend two full yearsup to and including 2024.
By contrast, Alpine seemed to want to favor a “1+1” contract., which means a full season and the second optional. As the person responsible for the conversations, Laurent Rossi, the president of the Dieppe brand, would also have proposed it a wheel in the WEC with the team in 2024, just to tip the scales.
As has been said Szafnauer at Motorsport, the second season option would have been can be activated based on track performance. And this is where the shoe hits Alonso’s head, eager to benefit from it more guarantees in the medium term than just performance. In which he would have found Aston Martin…
We wish Fernando the best for his future in Formula 1. Fernando has always been, and always will be, part of the Renault and Alpine family and we are proud and privileged to have shared so many moments on track together. pic.twitter.com/hyZOVdOKHb
— BWT Alpine F1 Team (@AlpineF1Team) August 1, 2022