Sebastian Vettel to retire from F1 at end of season
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Fernando Alonso will replace Sebastian Vettel at Aston Martin for the 2023 season after signing a multi-year deal with the team. The Spaniard said he opted to switch manufacturer’s because Aston Martin were “one of the most exciting teams” in F1 and was “demonstrating a greater vision” to win.
It comes just days after Vettel announced his retirement from F1 ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix. 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.”
He added: “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.”
Alonso’s Alpine deal was set to finish at the end of the season but the French squad had expressed an interest to retain him. Earlier this month, team principal Otmar Szafnauer revealed the team had not started talking with Alonso but would begin discussions in August.
Alonso had expressed an interest to continue in F1 but recently claimed he would not begin thinking about next season until the summer break. The acquisition means Aston Martin will retain a multiple world champion in their team as they work towards their ambition of competing for the world title by 2025.
Lawrence Stroll explained: “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.
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“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.”
Aston Martin team principal Mike Krack claims Alonso will “accelerate” the team’s progress on their journey to become a winning manufacturer.
He added: “I have witnessed the excitement in the engineering team and throughout the whole organisation at the opportunity to work with Fernando.
“We know that nearly everyone can learn from someone of Fernando’s calibre and experience. We are confident that he will inspire everyone to lift their game, and that will only enhance the already infectious energy that exists within the team.”
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