F1 2023: Alonso completes Aston Martin millionaire plan |  formula 1

F1 2023: Alonso completes Aston Martin millionaire plan | formula 1

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Although Alpine is the fourth best team so far, scoring regularly despite still being far from the podium, Aston Martin is the runner-up, in ninth place. The British brand, however, invested 250 million pounds (about R$ 1.5 billion) to fight for the titles over a period of five years. Below, see details of what awaits Alonso at the Silverstone factory.

Fernando Alonso will leave Alpine at the end of the 2022 F1 season — Photo: Gongora/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Originally called Force India, the team was bought by billionaire Lawrence Stroll (father of Lance, Alonso’s future teammate) for $117 million in 2018.

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The christening as Racing Point marked the beginning of an ambitious project for the Canadian, responsible for the return of the Aston Martin brand in 2021. It was impressive how the team managed to remain among the top 5 of F1 for three years with one of the smallest budget and personnel divisions.

– As in every business I own, my goal is to win. Of course, we all know that success in Formula 1 or any other business does not come overnight. It takes years to choose the right people, the right tools, the right processes. But we are building and investing in our team, with the intention of moving forward year after year, and our main ambition is to win the world championship.”

Lawrence Stroll greets Fernando Alonso on the grid for the 2022 F1 Saudi Arabian GP – Photo: Batchelor/XPB Images

High salary and contract

According to Alpine team boss Otmar Szafnauer, Alonso was attracted by a better salary offer at the team owned by Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll and a long-term bond; the French team was afraid of his decline due to age and did not want to give him a contract that lasted more than one year.

The two-time champion is estimated to be tied to Aston Martin until December 2024.

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Billion dollar factory investment

The most important topic in Aston Martin’s project is the construction of its new factory in Silverstone, England.

The works are worth around £250m and are expected to be completed by the end of this year, allowing the UK team to move to bigger and more modern facilities, including the first tunnel, wind turbine and simulator.

Aston Martin’s new factory project; works have already started and delivery is scheduled for early 2023 – Image: Solutions

– The infrastructure changes happening here are very big. It’s the first new home for F1 in 19 years, so it’s going to be high quality, which clearly shows the commitment Lawrence and the team have,” team boss Mike Krack said in March this year.

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The wind tunnel is important in car development at the start of each season as it allows teams to effectively test every part of a single seat throughout the pre-season, analyzing the effect of wind flow on the bolide.

Such is its importance that, in 2021, a rule came into force in F1 that gives the last place in the manufacturer’s classification more time in the wind tunnel and, for the leaders, less time. It’s an opportunity to try to level the playing field.

Sebastian Vettel with the AMR22, an Aston Martin car, during the F1 2022 pre-season in Barcelona – Photo: Sportinfoto/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Along with the new factory, Aston Martin will also produce its own components; in recent years, the team received unlisted parts (now called “transferable components”) from Mercedes.

– At the end of the day, it’s a big challenge, but it’s also a great opportunity that we have now. With this brand, the Aston Martin brand, we have all the ingredients needed to succeed,” added Krack.

Enhanced technical staff

In 2021, at least six names from the technical staff of RBR, the current World Cup leader, moved to Aston Martin. Among them are astronaut Dan Fallows, who got permission to start working in April this year, and Andrew Alessi, the former architect of the Austrian team – who is now the Head of Technical Operations.

He joined Martin Whitmarsh, former McLaren boss from 2009 to 2013 and was responsible for running Aston Martin Performance Technologies, the British team’s engineering arm. Also flocking to the Silverstone factory were Luca Furbatto, Alfa Romeo’s former chief designer and current engineering director, and former Mercedes aerodynamics chief Eric Blandin..

Dan Fallows is RBR’s former chief aeronautical expert and is leaving the team to join Aston Martin in 2022 – Photo: Lars Baron/Getty Images

At the start of 2022, Otmar Szafnauer leaves, and new team boss Mike Krack, former head of BMW’s motor division with Formula E and DTM marks, enters. The German also spent eight years in F1 as an engineer and head of engineering at Sauber and even worked with Sebastian Vettel, who is now his driver, at the Swiss team.

British engineer Andrew Green remains as technical head, responsible for the successful designs of the team’s cars in their best years: 2016, 2017 and 2020 – when they were again fourth in the World Championship and still won their first victory with Sergio Pérez, in the competition. GP of Sakhir.

The maximum budget of F1, set in 2021, has forced the big teams to line up “down” with the weaker teams. Eight-time champion Mercedes, for example, spent 500 million US dollars (more than 1 billion dollars) in the 2020 season and will have to reduce its costs to 145 million dollars, or 732 million dollars.

Mike Krack, Aston Martin team boss in 2022 – Image: Disclosure / Aston Martin

With the experience of developing successful projects with minimal resources – human and financial – Aston Martin has been betting on this phenomenon.

And what does he leave?

Alpine also has a medium-term change plan, but the project is “down to earth” than its British rival: the team aims to fight for frequent podiums in two years, until 2024, which began in 2021 in the so-called Plan. of 100 Races.

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The team started 2022 with the reinforcement of boss Otmar Szafnauer, who had commanded Aston Martin (then Racing Point) since 2018. of the Alpine power unit.

Fernando Alonso driving Alpine at the Hungarian GP — Photo: Robert Szaniszló/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The French engineer has already worked in the automotive industry for Peugeot and has experience winning projects in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, World Rallycross and Dakar Rally.

– I want the team to fight for the podium and win until the end of the next (engine) regulation, that is, 2024 or 2025. But for that, we will need to change and become the best team of the best team instead of just being. the best others – declared Laurent Rossi, CEO of Alpine.

If the results of Aston Martin’s investment are not successful, Alpine maintains the basic structure during periods of change of control.

The team has been outpacing McLaren in this year’s constructors’ championship and is in fourth place, more consistent than rivals with Alonso and Ocon in the points.

Fernando Alonso celebrates his first Alpine podium after returning to F1 at the Qatar GP — Photo: Dan Istitene – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images

In addition, the automaker was in the top five in 2021, 2020 and 2019, and finished the 2018 championship in fourth place. Although it did not reach its goal set in 2016 – to fight for the title within five years – Alpine still took the victory, in 2021, with Ocon in the Hungarian GP.

If it maintains a routine that makes it “best of the rest” in 2022 alongside the giants RBR, Ferrari and Mercedes, Ocon and his future team-mate could be rewarded for accommodation and have a better chance of enjoying more fruitful facilities and environments than Alonso .

Alonso will complete his third stint with the French team that introduced him to the world of F1 in 2003, two years after making his debut in the category. Together they won the 2005 and 2006 drivers’ and constructors’ titles.

He returned in 2008 and 2009 after a short stint at McLaren, and after moving to Ferrari, returned to McLaren and left Formula 1, he rejoined Alpine in 2021.

Fernando Alonso lifted his first Formula 1 world title in 2005 for Renault — Photo: Vladimir Rys/Getty Images

The two-time champion said earlier this year that the Enstone-based team had remained a “family” environment since he first played with them despite changes in technology and personnel. And this guarantee was even an important factor in dealing with his situation after the sabbatical period of the category.