Alonso would be “proud” even if Aston Martin titles came after retirement

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Fernando Alonso believes it “would be a proud moment” if he helped turn Aston Martin into Formula 1 title contenders – even after his retirement. The veteran Spanish driver helped unveil the radically-different looking AMR23 at the team’s Silverstone campus on Monday having joined from Alpine in the off-season to replace Sebastian Vettel. He is partnered by Lance Stroll – a driver he believes is of championship-winning calibre – as he embarks on what he admits is likely to be the final chapter in his long Grand Prix career. The two-time World Champion admitted that he does not expect to be fighting for wins and podiums in 2023, but believes the long-term project at Aston is on course to deliver championship titles. Alonso confident about Aston title challenge “This is probably my last team that I drive for, and I have known Lawrence and Lance for many years,” Alonso told media, including , at the launch of the AMR23. “I knew Lance when he was in the Ferrari Driver Academy and that was in 2012, 11 years ago and now we have this wonderful opportunity to share the team and work together in Aston Martin, and hopefully be contending for championships in the future. “I said in Abu Dhabi, even if I am not driving, I would be super proud to be part of this organisation. “If one day we have Aston Martin dominating races and championships and the two drivers are fighting for the championship like Red Bull with Sebastian or [Mark Webber], and to help [Stroll] fight for a championship it will be a proud moment for me.” Article continues below images. Important ‘baseline’ for new car After a difficult start with the AMR22, Aston Martin rallied in the second-half of last season to claim seventh in the standings – but with the revolution, Alonso believes their 2023 challenger will be their ‘real first car’ under the latest ground effect rules. “The most important thing for me this year is to make sure that this car and the baseline is the one we will develop the future Aston Martin cars from,” added Alonso. “Last year, the package had some difficulties as we all saw from the outside, and the team went through quite a few things during season and they improved a lot at the end of the year. “Those difficulties are good for sure when you understand them and you can programme something from that car. “This is the real first car with this new set of regulations and hopefully Aston Martin can develop in the future. “For me, the biggest theme this year is that we can develop throughout the season – and finish 2023 knowing that this is a car and a baseline for the future.”

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