Formula 1 Racing

How ‘relentless rookie’ Alonso leads Aston Martin F1 by example

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin F1 Team in the garage

Alonso‘s move to Aston Martin from Alpine for 2023 raised some eyebrows when it was announced in the summer of 2022, with the Spaniard having a history of making bold team moves that didn’t always work out.

But the two-time world champion joined the Silverstone squad just as it hit a rich vein of form with the launch spec of its 2023 car, propelling the 42-year-old to six podiums across the first eight races.

And while Sebastian Vettel, the driver Alonso replaced, was praised for his contribution to its great leap forward, it was Alonso’s rookie energy and work ethic that team boss Mike Krack identified as one of the team’s biggest gains. 

“A lot of drivers go down into smaller teams and they try to take what they can take through the end of the career,” Krack said. “This is not what we have seen, it’s actually completely the opposite.

“We had a driver here where you think it’s his first season, he was just full of energy, not only driving us but also driving himself and, and he was really leading by example, being the first in the office. You come in the morning, and he was sitting there and says ‘Good afternoon, guys’.

“This leading by example has affected the team and has pushed the team. We are a much better team now than 12 months ago. Obviously, this is also a credit to others, not only to that, but I think this has really made us improve much, much more than we would have if he hadn’t been there.”

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin F1 Team in the garage

The team’s performance director Tom McCullough felt Alonso was “relentless” in his drive to push the team forward and exceeded expectations of what he would be like to work with, having lugged around a reputation of being political and tough on his team-mates.

“He has been a really positive force every single day, from the minute he turned up,” said McCullough.

“He has been relentless. Not really knowing him well, you had a bit of a picture of what he was going to be like, but it’s been very impressive how hard he’s pushed, but also how efficient he is with his feedback, how knowledgeable he is. How constructive he is inside the team. It’s been really, really impressive.”

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