Where is Alonso going in 2023? From the outset, to the best hospitality in the paddock, at Aston Martin things are big and attract attention. Fer
Where is Alonso going in 2023? From the outset, to the best hospitality in the paddock, at Aston Martin things are big and attract attention. Fernando will be Lance Stroll’s partner in the AMR23 starting next year with a multi-year contract that the 41-year-old Spaniard can extend or end at the end of each season, according to sources in this medium. A surprising exit that is explained by Alpine’s discreet offer to the two-time Spanish champion: they offered him a one-year contract plus another optional one. Before the swerve, you can start with the anecdotal: Alonso’s company car from January will be an imposing sports car like the ones James Bond drives. In that he wins.
The owner of the team is Lawrence Stroll (Canada, 63 years old), a businessman who made his fortune importing clothes and started in motor racing so that his son Lance could develop as a driver. He bought Prema, a giant of F3 and F2; then he invested in Williams and from 2018 he led a consortium of Canadian companies that acquired all the debt of Force India to take control of the team and name it Racing Point. In parallel, he bought 15% of the luxury car firm Aston Martin Lagonda and from 2021 renamed the team as such, with the commercial packaging that suggests an iconic car manufacturer.
But this team has more history. Although Aston Martin competed as an official in 1959 and 1960, the current structure was founded as Jordan in 1991. This was the name until 2005, with four wins, 19 podiums and the debut of Michael Schumacher among its milestones. Then it was Midland (Russian capital), then Spyker (Dutch flag); finally Force India, which between 2008 and 2018 progressed from 10th to 4th place in the constructors and signed one pole and six podiums with one of the most meager budgets on the grid. Its previous owner ended up with court cases and the debt was getting worse when Stroll came with the solution. Already painted pink, like Racing Point, they won the Sakhir GP in 2020 with Checo Pérez and signed Vettel for the following year. The last podium was achieved by Seb in Azerbaijan 2021. The withdrawal of the four-time German champion opened an unexpected door for Alonso.
Factory, signings and sponsors
In terms of sport, much to improve. This year they are ninth out of ten in the constructors’ championship, although the Aston Martin scores regularly (eight of the last ten races). They have a bad start to the course, they did not understand the new rules well, just like McLaren or Williams. Until now they had been characterized by reverse engineering, the copy (to Mercedes in 2020), and in this course they increasingly resemble the Red Bull that Fallows himself devised before changing companies. It is a fact that they are below Alpine; in 2021 they were seventh with half the points of the Enstone team and for now they add 20 to Alpine’s 99, the fourth car of 2022. As a teammate, Stroll, 23, will be easy to beat, but not comfortable. Little consistent, with good details from time to time (they say that he is one of the best starters). One pole and three podiums to his credit with always smaller cars.
They are building a state-of-the-art factory at Silverstone that aspires to be the most technologically advanced on the entire grid. They have signed key profiles in the paddock: Dan Fallows, former chief aerodynamics engineer at Red Bull; or Eric Blandin, same position at Mercedes. Until now they have behaved like good customers of Brackley (they use its engine and its wind tunnel, among other parts), but they are developing more and more independently. Accounts at the parent company are said not to be buoyant, as they are at almost no automaker after the pandemic and microchip crisis. But Aston Martin Racing has resources, the car is full of heavy sponsors and among them Aramco, F1’s priority partner, stands out. The Saudi oil company is the most valuable company on the planet today, above Apple. In addition, it is a fact that the arrival of Alonso will promote more commercial agreements.