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Alonso says Aston Martin ‘will not be happy with second’

The racer joins as a replacement for fellow former champion Sebastian Vettel, who retired at the end of last season

A handout picture released by Aston Martin shows the team's Formula 1 drivers Fernando Alonso (L) and Lance Stroll standing with the Aston Martin AMR23 Formula One racing car for the 2023 season, during its unveiling at their headquarters in Silverstone on February 13, 2023.
A handout picture released by Aston Martin shows the team's Formula 1 drivers Fernando Alonso (L) and Lance Stroll standing with the Aston Martin AMR23 Formula One racing car for the 2023 season, during its unveiling at their headquarters in Silverstone on February 13, 2023.- (AFP)

Two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso said Monday his new Aston Martin team would “not be happy with second” as it tries to build toward a title challenge in future years.

Alonso joins as a replacement for fellow former champion Sebastian Vettel, who retired at the end of last season. Aston Martin was seventh in last year’s constructors’ standings with Vettel and Lance Stroll, son of the team’s executive chairman Lawrence Stroll.

“We have to make sure that we have a good baseline for Aston Martin cars that will come in the future. Last year, I think the team went through some difficulties during the first part of the year but they had a good second part of the year, so we have to see that progress also into 2023,” Alonso said as the team launched its 2023 car.

“We will not be happy with fourth, we will not be happy with third, we will not be happy with second. So maybe we cannot win immediately, but that’s something that we need to make sure, that this car is the baseline for future years.”

The car was launched at Aston Martin’s as-yet unfinished new factory, which Lawrence Stroll heralded as a “game changer” and a key part of its long-term plans. The team is due to move in later this year.

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