Fernando Alonso will join Aston Martin from 2023, paving the way for Oscar Piasti to make his full-time debut next season.
Alonso made the shock announcement on Monday as he confirmed a multi-year contract that starts in 2023.
The two-time champion is convinced that his team, who are in ninth place with 20 points and less than half of what they are now, can be successful in his contract period.
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“This Aston Martin team is clearly using its energy and determination to win, and is therefore one of the most exciting teams in Formula 1 today,” he said. “I know Lawrence [Stroll] And Lance [Stroll] For many years and it is very clear that they have the desire and desire to succeed in Formula 1.
“I’ve seen the team systematically attract the best people to the winning stage, and I know the huge commitment to new facilities and resources at Silverstone.
“No one in Formula 1 today is showing greater vision and determination to win, and that makes it a very exciting opportunity for me.”
Alonso has indicated he wants to stay with Alpine for at least two more seasons, but the French team are reportedly ready to give him one more year before moving to a sports car to avoid losing the Aussie junior to a rival developer.
The Spaniard, who said he returned to the sport last year to fight for a third championship, said he was not ready to give up his long-held goal.
“I still have the hunger and desire to fight on the front lines, and I want to be part of an organization that is committed to learning, growing and succeeding,” he said. “I want to win again in this sport and I have to take the opportunities that seem right to me.”
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His defection paves the way for Aussie young gun Oscar Piastre to be promoted to the seat alongside Esban Ocon next year.
Piastre will be the second full-time Australian driver on the grid alongside Daniel Ricciardo.
The team has been mulling over Alonso’s future, with Marc Webber-led Piastre determined to see the F2 champion back in the race as soon as possible.
Just last week, the team was publicly talking about loaning Piastre, possibly to a marquee Williams team. Meanwhile, Webber is rumored to be trying to engineer a switch to Ricardo McLaren’s seat, even though the top OC is under contract.
Alpine did not comment on Alonso’s announcement.
Aston Martin team owner Lawrence Stroll said Alonso’s signing was a vote of confidence in the team’s plans to move forward on the grid.
“I have known and admired Fernando for many years and it has always been clear that he is a dedicated winner like me,” he said. I am committed to bringing the best people together and developing the right resources and organization to succeed in this highly competitive sport, and those plans are now taking shape at Silverstone.
“It therefore seemed natural to invite Fernando to be part of the development of the winning team and in our recent discussions we confirmed that we share the same ambitions and values and it was logical and easy to confirm our desire to work together.”
Alonso announced last week that he will retire from the sport at the end of the year, replacing four-time champion Sebastian Vettel.
More to come.