Fernando Alonso‘s move to Aston Martin for the 2023 Formula 1 season took everyone by surprise as the Silverstone-based team look to improve on their seventh place from last year’s constructors’ championship.
Aston Martin is the fifth different team Alonso, who is the most experienced F1 driver ever, since making his debut in 2001.
His teammate Lance Stroll embarks on his seventh F1 campaign and will be targeting a first top 10 in the final driver standings.
Total-Motorsport.com journalists Adam Dickinson, Andrew Wright, Ed Spencer and Nigel Chiu take a look at what to expect from Aston Martin in 2023.
Andrew Wright: Alonso still one of the best and most versatile drivers
Word from inside the Aston Martin camp is pretty positive ahead of 2023. The team will certainly be buoyed by the acquisition of Alonso and will hope to have learnt from the many mistakes of 2022 that saw them abandon their initial car concept for something only marginally better as they struggled to seventh.
From there, there’s only so much progress that can be made but I do expect gains to be made, led off the track by a strong technical department that includes Dan Fallows and Eric Blandin, and on the track by Alonso.
The Spaniard remains one of the best and most versatile drivers on the grid, so if there’s performance to be found, he’ll find it. Let’s just hope he doesn’t fall foul of the same bad luck that blighted his last season with Alpine.
Adam Dickinson: I’m backing Aston Martin for fifth
The green machines could be the most improved team in 2023. They’re still building towards a peak in 2024 or 2025 with their new wind tunnel scheduled to come online in mid-2023.
But after they improved at the end of 2022 they’ll hope to carry that momentum through the winter and Alonso is a man to make the most of a midfield car.
Whilst Mercedes and Alpine may be out of reach, I expect to see them battling McLaren for fifth place in the constructors’ championship and regular Q3 participation, the biggest concern is whether that fight comes down to a shootout between Stroll and Oscar Piastri.
I’m backing them for that fifth place though.
Nigel Chiu: Aston Martin are the darkhorses for 2023
You have got to credit Aston Martin for their turnaround last year from Spain onwards. Don’t forget, they had, what I called one of the worst weekends for a team in F1 ever, at the Australian Grand Prix, and they really came on song in the second half of the season.
Should they continue that rate of improvement into 2023, then Alonso will be in a similar position to last season where he was fighting for best of the rest and it will be very fun when he’s battling former teammate Esteban Ocon.
Stroll is generally very inconsistent and I expect that to be the same this season, so he could be on the podium at some point then a long way off the still excellent Alonso the next weekend.
This will be the first car technical director Fallows has overseen so I think Aston Martin are the dark horses for 2023, watch out.
Ed Spencer: Stroll has a point to prove
As one F1 legend departs the stage and rides off into the sunset, another, with a burning ambition to bring home one more title, arrives at the Silverstone squad.
Alonso’s move to Aston Martin completely changed the complexion of silly season as not only was it unexpected the Spaniard was arriving at a team which had underwhelmed at times in 2022.
But things are different. Fallows has managed to get his hands on the 2023 car after spending 2022 on gardening leave, whilst Mike Krack has established a reputation as a shrewd operator.
On the other side of the Aston Martin garage, Stroll has a point to prove after two mediocre seasons, which have seen him digress as a driver and get soundly beaten by Vettel.
All the ingredients are in place, meaning Aston has no excuse but to deliver results for its drivers.