Whatever Aston Martin gave Fernando Alonso to join them, he repaid it on Sunday in Bahrain. And then again on Monday...
The 41-year-old Spaniard produced a trademark brilliant drive to claim an unforgettable podium in the first race of the 2023 season.
Not only did it mark down the AMR23 as the second best car on the grid for now – ahead of mighty Ferrari and Mercedes. It also had an unexpected financial spinoff on Monday.
READ MORE: 'Gladiator' Alonso rolls back the years with Bahrain overtaking brilliance
Aston Martin shares surge after Alonso podium
By late Monday afternoon UK time the share price of Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings PLC had risen around 15 per cent on the FTSE250, from an opening 240GBX to 276.10.
Astonishingly, the rise - on the back of Alonso's terrific showing in Bahrain - added around £300million to the company's market cap.
Reports last summer suggested that Aston Martin parted with around £16million per year to snatch the two-time world champion away from under the noses of his current team Alpine. Right now, it appears to have been money very well spent.
Alonso had looked strong in pre-season testing, and also topped the FP2 and FP3 timesheets in Bahrain before qualifying fifth on the grid for Sunday's race.
He rolled back the years to then surge into the top three in the closing stages, passing fellow Spaniard Carlos Sainz of Ferrari for the final podium spot.
READ MORE: Alonso: Stroll 'my hero' after courageous injury-defying points