Sebastian Vettel surprised the whole F1 world by announcing his retirement on July 28th, and from that moment, several names of his potential replacement filled headlines and news, yet few expect that name to be the two-time world champion: Fernando Alonso.
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Since that announcement, Spanish media and Alonso’s supporters started to dream of a magic season, a new chapter of “Magic Alonso” that fed that dream in the first race of the season. With Lance Stroll missing the pre-season following a cycling crash, the Spaniard was in the spotlight, and he did not disappoint.
The AMR23 showed early signs of its potential in testing, the British outfit downplayed expectations. However, after an extraordinary weekend at the Bahrain Grand Prix, one cannot repress what the reality is: Fernando Alonso and the Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team is here to fight for podiums, and most likely, victories.
F1 in Spain is doing great, and Fernando Alonso is to blame. The Asturias-born created an army of fans that have remained faithful to him even in the hardest times. With his name being confirmed as Lance’s team-mate, the “Alonsistas” started dreaming again, proving that F1 is in a good shape not only in the US, but also in the Mediterranean country.
Spain has what it takes to become a strategic market for the sport.
With the presence of the Spanish Grand Prix being confirmed until, at least 2026, two Spanish drivers in the grid fighting for podiums, and the upcoming F1 Exhibition in Madrid; there is no doubt that Spain has what it takes to become a strategic market for the sport.
Indeed, the Spanish Grand Prix is already sold out. Although watching the races is only possible by a pay-per-view service, the current platform that holds the rights offers the show at a very reasonable price. Furthermore, F1 is now part of the news and stories, giving even more visibility to a season that looks a fascinating one.
But not only did Fenrndo Alonso play his part, but also Carlos Sainz. Although his marketing power is not the same level as Alonso’s, the Ferrari driver has had a prominent role in keeping the sport popular in the country, and initiatives like the Carlos Sainz’ Stand in the home race, or him being the image of fresh and popular brands did contribute to the success.
As Carlos and Fernando fighting wheel-to-wheel, the challenge for Spain is to show that it is possible to support both drivers without falling into unhealthy fanaticism.
Additionally, the promoters of the Spanish Grand Prix are almost obliged to improve the mobility and basic services during the three-day weekend to avoid shameful images as it happened in the past year.
Until last week, there were 275 partnership deals confirmed for this season.
At the end of the day, this sport relies massively on fans and partners, and the more distributed those partners are, the better it is for the sport. Until last week, there were 275 partnership deals confirmed for this season, with new title sponsors for some teams, and new brands entering in the category for the first time.
There is no secret that Drive to Survive is playing a key role in promoting the sport, although the effort most of the drivers have put in developing their own brands has also made a difference, and in this regard, Fernando Alonso is a great example of branding. Not to mention that the Spaniard has an entrepreneur spirit. Fernando has a new management agency, called A14 Management, which also makes him connect easier with new generations.
21 races to go, and Spain is rubbing its hands with glee to see Fernando getting what would be his 33rd victory, perhaps even in a tight championship fight with Carlos.