Impact of Fernando Alonso’s move to Aston Martin on the F1 2023 driver market | F1
Aston Martin’s announcement on Monday morning came out of the blue as they revealed that two-time F1 champion Fernando Alonso will partner Lance Stroll for 2023.
A surprising decision on the surface but with Vettel’s retirement announced ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix, Aston Martin and Lawrence Stroll were always keen to make a statement, and signing Alonso makes it so.
You could argue that this is a strange decision from Alonso as Alpine are currently fourth in the Constructors’ Championship and one of just four working teams on the grid alongside Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull.
However, Alonso remains at the peak of his powers and Alpine is understood to offer only a one-year deal – potentially a stop-gap for Oscar Piastri – a multi-year contract with Aston Martin forever. was going to be more attractive. ,
Alonso’s move has further impact on the driver market and many seats are still up for grabs.
Alonso’s move to Aston Martin paved the way for current F2 champion Piastri to make his debut with the French team in 2023.
After back-to-back title-winning campaigns, Piastri was forced to sit on the sidelines this year.
Compared to the likes of George Russell and Charles Leclerc, who won F2 and F3 titles before jumping into F1, Alpine is pinning its hopes on Piastri.
In the short term, Alpine is taking a step back with its driver line-up as losing a driver of Alonso’s caliber will have an immediate impact in terms of competition.
However, if Piastri lives up to the expectations, Alpine will have a superstar on its hands for many years to come.
Piastri’s potential promotion removes a potential candidate for Williams next year.
Alpine Jr. has been consistently linked with a move to Williams for 2023. There were even suggestions that Piastri would replace Nicolas Latifi due to Canada’s poor form.
Williams will need to look elsewhere as they search for a new partner for Alex Albon, which has yet to be formally confirmed.
Logan Sargent, who is part of Williams’ academy, is a possible option but would need to finish the F2 season strongly enough to get the required amount of Super License points.
Formula E champion Nyck de Vries is another likely candidate and Albon was tipped to join the team before getting the drive.
Haas is yet to announce Kevin Magnussen’s teammate for 2023, but with Alonso’s move to Aston Martin confirmed, Mick Schumacher’s future is clear.
The German was hotly tipped to replace Vettel at Aston Martin, with the four-time champion even recommending him to owner Lawrence Stroll.
After a rough start to the year, Schumacher has found his footing with a few point finishes and a strong drive.
There is now a lot of potential for Schumacher to stay with Haas.
With Red Bull Juniors underperforming in F2, Yuki Tsunoda is expected to remain with AlphaTauri for another season.
Tsunoda has shown signs of improvement in 2022, particularly in qualifying relative to teammate Pierre Gasly.
The Japanese driver appears to be safe for the time being.
It is a similar story in Alfa Romeo with Frederic Vasseur expressing his desire to have Zhou Guanyue with Valtteri Bottas.
While Zhou’s points tally is minimal, his better form has coincided with Alfa Romeo’s decline in performance relative to midfield.
Of late, Zhou has been a close match for Bottas, even knocking him out on three occasions (twice in the wet).
Sauber junior Theo Porcharre hasn’t delivered this season, and even though he could overtake Felipe Dragovich in the final four rounds, a season – like Piastri – is likely.