In a shocking announcement, Fernando Alonso announced that he is leaving Alpine F1. The Spaniard is moving to Aston Martin for the 2023 season.
Fernando Alonso had warned earlier too, that he could potentially leave Alpine for a more competitive team and car. However, the Spaniard’s move to Aston Martin is quite opposite as the team is currently even far behind Alpine F1 on the grid.
So, what made Alonso do this swap and where did Alpine lose Fernando Alonso? Also, what does it mean for the Formula 1 drivers market? Who will probably take the seat at Alpine and how this move could probably help Alpine in long term?
The clashing demands of Alonso and Alpine F1 CEO
One major factor was the time. Alonso believes due to his consistent performance for the team, he deserves a multi-year contract with Alpine.
However, this is not the case with Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi who is the key decision maker at Alpine. Rossi thinks of shifting Alonso to his race program for the LMDH division at the start of 2024. This meant Alonso leaving F1 after the 2023 season.
However, Alonso was anything but ready to leave F1 just ‘yet’.
Aston Martin and Lawrence Stroll saw this opportunity and grabbed it. This ensured that Aston Martin got another experienced driver in the team alongside Lance Stroll.
Moreover, what’s better than replacing a multi-world champion to guess what? Another multi-world Champion.
Alpine F1 CEO was all set with his plans. However, retirement of Sebastian Vettel upset his motives resetting the game as a whole.
What does this mean for Alpine?
There is no doubt that Alpine lost a talented and experienced driver. Fernando Alonso even after being 41-year old arguably has the best race-craft on track. No team would like to lose a driver like him.
Aston Martin has really got another incredible driver going for the 2023 season.
However, losing Fernando Alonso isn’t all that bad for Alpine F1.
As Alonso has moved out, Alpine can finally give the seat to their long-awaited test driver Oscar Piastri. Piastri has shown exceptional talent in the junior Championships, winning the Formula 2 Championship in his rookie season only.
Moreover, signing a rookie driver would further save money for the team.
Who is the real winner from this deal? We will know that only in the 2023 season. A driver who moved to an inferior team? Or the team who got to sign a new talent for the next season?
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