To the average Formula One fan the season opening weekend in Bahrain saw the return of Fernando Alonso to the podium in a record breaking drive that saw the double world champion make the podium with his fifth different F1 team.
However there was much more at stake behind the scenes.
Aston Martin F1 fortunes revolutionised
The AMR23 is now in P2 for the constructors’ title race and had the team’s drivers not collided on lap one, the tally of 25 points could have been even higher.
Fernando finished the race 30 seconds behind second place Sergio Perez, though the margin could have been much closer had the Spaniard not been forced to follow Hamilton’s Mercedes for 30 laps.
Lance Stroll too was closing in on Hamilton as the chequered flag fell and it was inevitable given another handful of racing laps the Canadian wold have passed the seven times world champion.
Alonso cost Stroll £32m
Aston Martin’s team owner Lawrence Stroll is believed to have parted with £32 million over two years to land his Spanish superstar world champion and Fernando has repaid the favour by at least ten times the amount by the close of business on the London Stock Market.
Since Stroll and his consortium bought the troubled British sports car marque and rebranded Racing Point to Aston Martin, the share price has collapsed to a fraction of its previous value.
Investors lack of faith in Aston Martin Lagonda
A lack of confidence in the Stroll backed management team since the acquisition has resulted in market analysts commenting on the lack of a sustainable operating structure within the business.
Astonishingly on the back of Alonso’s performance on Sunday in Bahrain saw Aston Martin Laguna Holdings PLC shares rise by 15% from 240.00 to 276.00 GBP.
This increases the value the company by some £300m at the close of business.
Stroll makes ‘also ran’ F1 team perform
Clearly the ability of Lawrence Stroll to take an ‘also ran’ Formula One team and propel it to the forefront of one of the global sports with the biggest barriers to entry ash peaked the interest of investors, who have given Aston Martin Laguna the biggest vote of confidence in three years.
One of Stroll’s genius moves has been the recruitment of Red Bull’s once senior aerodynamicist Dan Fallows who clearly has brought some knowledge from his former employer to the design of the AMR23.
When asked by the assembled media whether Aston Martin’s leap to the from made him regret the loss of Dan Fallows, Christian Horner replied:
Stroll recruitment genius
“No, because I think we have a wonderful team and everything has to evolve. Nothing stands still.”
“I think that it’s flattering to see the resemblance of that car to ours,” he added. “So it was great to see the three of them on the podium.”
In a thinly veiled dig at Toto Wolff and Mercedes, Honer concludes this progress “demonstrates to all the teams that it’s possible, they’ve obviously done a good job over the winter.”
“They say imitation is the biggest form of flattery and it’s good to see the old car going so well,” quipped the Red Bull supremo.
Krack dull while Checo cracks jokes
At the podium written press conference a journalist addressed a question to “Fernando and the Red Bull drivers.”
In a quick witted moment of comedic genius, Sergio Perez interjected, “We are all Red Bull drivers.”
In start contrast to Checo’s comedic moments Aston Martin team boss Mike Krack declined to respond when Perez comments were put to him saying only, “We always decided we will not go into any war of words. So we’ll leave it there.”
READ MORE: Mercedes in bigger trouble than most think
Fair to say Spanish commentators enjoyed @alo_oficial’s afternoon. 🔊pic.twitter.com/Vb8lPIV2QY
— Grand Prix Diary (@GrandPrixDiary) March 6, 2023