Two-time Formula One world champion Fernando Alonso will race for Aston Martin from the 2023 season after signing a multi-year contract, the team announced on Monday.
The 41-year-old replaces Sebastian Vettel after the German announced his retirement last week.
Alonso, who won two titles for Renault in 2005 and 2006, has agreed a multi-year deal with the British team.
"The recruitment of a special talent such as Fernando is a clear statement of intent from an organisation that has committed to developing a winning Formula One team," Aston Martin said in a statement.
Alonso, who returned to the grid with French team Alpine in 2021 after two years away, is set to partner Lance Stroll, the son of Aston Martin’s billionaire owner Lawrence Stroll.
The Spaniard said: “This Aston Martin team is clearly applying the energy and commitment to win, and it is therefore one of the most exciting teams in Formula One today.
“I have known Lawrence and Lance for many years and it is very obvious that they have the ambition and passion to succeed in Formula One.
“I have watched as the team has systematically attracted great people with winning pedigrees, and I have become aware of the huge commitment to new facilities and resources at Silverstone.
“No one in Formula One today is demonstrating a greater vision and absolute commitment to winning, and that makes it a really exciting opportunity for me.”
Alonso started his career in 2001 and has won 32 times from 346 appearances.
He starred for Renault in the early years before joining, and then quitting, McLaren after just one season following a turbulent campaign alongside the then-rookie Lewis Hamilton.
He returned to Renault before a four-year period at Ferrari where he came close to winning the title on two occasions. After falling out with the Italian team, he went back to McLaren, but the switch proved desperately unsuccessful and he took a two-year sabbatical at the end of 2018.
Alonso has proven in his 18 months at Alpine that he is still one of the grid’s top performers, out-performing his machinery to secure a front-row grid slot in rain-hit qualifying at June’s Canadian Grand Prix. He has also finished in the points at the last eight races.
Aston Martin have so far failed to deliver since their return to F1 last year after decades away.
Alonso’s hire will be seen as a major coup for Aston Martin. The Silverstone-based team are only seventh of 10 in the constructors’ standings following Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix – the final round before the summer break.