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Sport 'Ambitious' Alonso to replace Vettel at Aston Martin

14:31  01 august  2022
14:31  01 august  2022 Source:   afp.com

4-time F1 champion Vettel to retire at end of season

  4-time F1 champion Vettel to retire at end of season BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Four-time Formula One champion Sebastian Vettel will retire at the end of the season to spend more time with his family, the German driver said Thursday. Vettel won his four F1 titles from 2010-13 with the Red Bull team. His last race victory came with Ferrari in 2019. This season with Aston Martin, he has been largely unsuccessful with a best finish of sixth place. “The decision to retire has been a difficult one for me to take, and I have spent a lot of time thinking about it,” Vettel said.

Veteran Spanish Formula One driver Fernando Alonso said he "intends to win again" after Aston Martin announced Monday that he would be joining the team on a multi-year contract from 2023.

Fernando Alonso, who turned 41 on Friday, will replace Sebastian Vettel, who last week announced his retirement from Formula One © Sylvain THOMAS Fernando Alonso, who turned 41 on Friday, will replace Sebastian Vettel, who last week announced his retirement from Formula One

The double world champion, who turned 41 on Friday and was coming to the end of his contract with French team Alpine, will replace German driver Sebastian Vettel, a four-time champion, who last week announced his retirement from Formula One at the end of the current season.

Formula 1: Fernando Alonso to replace Sebastian Vettel at Aston Martin

  Formula 1: Fernando Alonso to replace Sebastian Vettel at Aston Martin Formula 1: Fernando Alonso to replace Sebastian Vettel at Aston Martin . The team announced Monday that Alonso would take the retiring Vettel’s place in 2023. Vettel said last week that he was stepping aside from Formula 1 after spending the last two seasons with Aston Martin. Alonso, 41, is set to become the driver with the most starts in F1 history later this season when he appears in his 350th race and passes Kimi Raikkonen. He currently races for Alpine and is 10th in the standings with 37 points.

Alonso, who won his world titles with Renault in 2005 and 2006, said the Aston Martin team -- which is owned by Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll whose son Lance drives the other car -- "is clearly applying the energy and commitment to win" and is "one of the most exciting teams in Formula One today".

"I have known Lawrence and Lance for many years and it is very obvious that they have the ambition and passion to succeed in Formula One," said Alonso who came eighth in Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix and is currently 10th in the world championship standings.

The Spaniard made his F1 debut in 2001. After winning his world titles with Renault -- the precursor to Alpine -- he failed to add any more in two spells with McLaren and during a five-year stint with Ferrari.

Vettel-Father: That was the low point

 Vettel-Father: That was the low point Sebastian Vettel's father, the fiasco in Austria sees as a co-trigger for his son's decision-making. © provided by Sport1.de Vettel-Vater: That was the low point after the resignation of Sebastian Vettel has now spoken to father Norbert-and reminds a bitter day that a co-triggers for the decision of his Son was. “That's a shame, but I understand him. That was an incredible career of my son and the low point was Austria, ”said Vettel Senior at RTL/NTV .

In 2018, he left the sport to try his hand at other forms of racing, winning the Le Mans 24 Hours twice and taking part in the Indianapolis 500 and the Dakar Rally.

Alonso returned to Formula One with Alpine in 2021, clinching his 98th and most recent podium at that year's Qatar GP. His last victory came at his home Grand Prix in Barcelona in 2013, but he is eager to add to his 32 race wins.

"I still have the hunger and ambition to fight to be at the front, and I want to be part of an organisation that is committed to learn, develop and succeed," Alonso said.

"I intend to win again in this sport and therefore I have to take the opportunities that feel right to me."

Vettel, who scored 53 GP wins and won four successive championships with Red Bull from 2010 to 2013, had tipped his friend and protege Mick Schumacher, son of the legendary Michael Schumacher, to be his successor.

However, the British-based team which is still developing since Stroll took it over in 2020, have turned instead to the wealth of experience that Alonso can offer.

"The whole company is very excited to bring Fernando's incredible experience and brilliant pace and racecraft to the team," Aston Martin said in a statement.

"The recruitment of a special talent such as Fernando is a clear statement of intent from an organisation that has committed to developing a winning Formula One team."

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Vettel tips Schumacher to succeed him at Aston Martin .
Sebastian Vettel on Friday tipped his friend and protege Mick Schumacher to be his successor at Aston Martin next season. The retirement-bound four-time world champion, who is close friends with his 23-year-old fellow-German, said he had spoken to team owner Lawrence Stroll and recommended the son of seven-time champion Michael Schumacher. "Obviously, I spoke to Lawrence and told him that I'm not going to continue," said 35-year-old Vettel. "WeThe retirement-bound four-time world champion, who is close friends with his 23-year-old fellow-German, said he had spoken to team owner Lawrence Stroll and recommended the son of seven-time champion Michael Schumacher.

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