Formula 1 Racing

Stroll will lead Aston Martin after I stop driving

Stroll will lead Aston Martin after I stop driving

Fernando Alonso says his team mate will ‘lead Aston Martin into the future’ once he calls time on his own racing career.

The two-times world champion joined Lance Stroll at Aston Martin at the start of last season. Alonso has out-performed his much younger team mate during their first 30 grands prix together, scoring 239 points to Stroll’s 85 and taking eight podiums while Stroll has failed to achieve any.

Formula 1’s most experienced driver of all time said he embraced the position of being the team leader at Aston Martin, but he fully expects his younger team mate to take on that position once he retires.

“When you arrive in Formula 1, you feel this competitiveness in the team, in the sport,” Alonso told The Times. “That is brutal, but you’re a little bit shy because you are twenty-something and your team mates are normally older, they have more experience.

“Now I feel the opposite, I’m the oldest, I’m the one with more experience and I feel that responsibility on my shoulders, of leading the team and trying to help not only the engineers, but also Lance. I will be part of the team for many years, even when I am not driving, and Lance will lead this team in the future. I will always support him.”

The 42-year-old recently signed a contract extension with Aston Martin, committing him to the team until at least the end of the 2026 season, when the sport will introduce sweeping changes to its chassis and power unit regulations.

Current world champion Max Verstappen has expressed doubts about staying in F1 as long as Alonso has. But the Aston Martin said he once felt the same as Verstappen but found he wanted to keep racing in Formula 1.

“That’s what I was thinking when I was at Max’s age,” said Alonso.

“I remember it was back in 2007, I signed a contract with McLaren for three years after being world champion with Renault and I was 200 percent sure that it was my last contract.

“[Then] I thought that it was my last season in 2018 and I said ‘bye bye’ to F1, thinking that it was enough for my career. I found, even when I decided to stop, I couldn’t.”

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