Fernando Alonso will compete for Aston Martin from 2023

Fernando Alonso will compete for Aston Martin from 2023

(Reuters) – Two-time Formula One world champion Fernando Alonso will drive for Aston Martin from 2023 after the 41-year-old Spaniard signed a multi-year contract, the team announced on Monday.

Alonso arrives from Renault-owned Alpine as a replacement for four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel, 35, who last week announced his retirement at the end of the current season.

The vacancy at Alpine after the Spaniard’s departure must be filled by the Australian team’s 21-year-old reserve player, Oscar Piastri, last year’s Formula 2 champion.

“I’m still hungry and willing to fight to be ahead and I want to be part of an organization dedicated to learning, developing and succeeding,” Alonso said in a statement from Aston Martin.

“The passion and desire to achieve that I have seen motivates me to maintain my joy and my commitment to the game. I have the desire to win again in this game and therefore I must take advantage of the opportunities that seem right to me.”

Alpine is fourth in the 10-team championship, while Silverstone-based Aston Martin is ninth.

Canadian billionaire owner Lawrence Stroll, whose son Lance also drives for Aston Martin, has invested heavily in the team, with a new factory being built and staff recruited from rival teams.

“I have known and loved Fernando for many years and it has become clear that he is as dedicated a winner as I am,” Stroll said.

“I was determined to bring together the best people and develop the right resources to succeed in this highly competitive sport, and those plans are now beginning to take shape at Silverstone.”

(Reporting by Dhruv Munjal in Bengaluru/Alan Baldwin in London)