Formula 1: First driver change confirmed for 2023

Fernando Alonso, Alpine, Formula 1 (Photo by FERENC ISZA/AFP via Getty Images)
Fernando Alonso, Alpine, Formula 1 (Photo by FERENC ISZA/AFP via Getty Images) /

Sebastian Vettel’s retirement confirmed there would be change in the Formula 1 driver lineup for 2023. That first change was confirmed Monday.

Last week, four-time Formula 1 world champion Sebastian Vettel announced that the 2022 season will be his last. He plans to retire once the season concludes in November, capping off a legendary career.

While many had anticipated changes in the driver lineup for next year already, it was this announcement which confirmed that there would be at least one change for 2023. Prior to this announcement, anything other than silly season speculation had been a contract extension.

light. Also. The legend of Sebastian Vettel

And it didn’t take long for that first official change to be confirmed, ensuring at least one more at some point in the near future.

Like Vettel, two-time world champion Fernando Alonso entered the season without a contract to compete beyond the conclusion of the year. While both Vettel and Alonso were reportedly in talks with Aston Martin and Alpine, respectively, about returning for 2023, neither one is going to do so.

But while Vettel is set to retire, Alonso is set to continue driving, and he is set to do so as Vettel’s replacement at Aston Martin.

While Alonso’s name had been linked to the seat alongside Lance Stroll in the event that Vettel did decide to hang up his helmet, he was not seen as a lead candidate to sign with the team, given his ongoing talks with Alpine about a new deal with the French outfit. Other prime Vettel replacement candidates included McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo and Haas’ Mick Schumacher.

But the 41-year-old Spaniard has indeed joined Aston Martin on a multi-year contract, solidifying the team’s driver lineup for 2023 a lot earlier than many expected.

Next. Top 25 Formula 1 drivers of all-time. dark

With his current Alpine seat alongside Esteban Ocon, who is under contract through 2024, now open for 2023, this move guarantees that there will be at least one more driver change this silly season — and given how many teams Alpine’s move could potentially effect, there will probably be a few others as well.