Fernando Alonso has revealed he elected to switch to Aston Martin for 2023 after feeling the team "really wanted" him more than Alpine.
Aston Martin wasted no time in hiring a driver to replace Sebastian Vettel after the German announced he would retire at the end of the season in the lead-up to the Hungarian Grand Prix at the end of July.
Just four days later, Alonso confirmed he would be replacing his fellow F1 champion.
Alpine had expected the Spanish driver to remain at the team for another year but was only offered an option for 2024 whereas Aston Martin has signed the 41-year-old on a firm two-year agreement.
"I think Aston was waiting for that decision [from Vettel]," said Alonso.
"They were happy with Sebastian to continue one more year but in the end, Seb decided to stop and they started calling some drivers they were interested in.
“I was one of those, and I was still available. We started talking that weekend, briefly, about the conditions I was expecting and what they were expecting from me, and we met quite quickly on our expectations.
“On Monday morning we signed and decided to announce quite quickly before any leak. I felt it was the right decision to move to Aston because they seemed to really want me.”
Szafnauer shock understandable
Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer claimed he had only learned of Alonso's move when the press release was issued.
Alonso confirmed this was likely the case as Szafnauer had not been involved in negotiations to keep him at Alpine, so there had been no need to inform him.
“Otmar probably didn’t know anything but I informed [Alpine CEO] Laurent Rossi and [Renault CEO] Luca de Mayo, my mechanics and my engineers," added Alonso.
“All the people that were involved in the negotiations were informed before any announcement.
"Otmar was not involved in the negotiations, and probably Laurent and Luca did not call him before the announcement, and he was surprised by that.”