Fernando Alonso has compared Aston Martin F1 team owner Lawrence Stroll's leadership qualities to the legendary team principal Flavio Briatore.
The Spaniard won back-to-back Drivers' World Championship titles with Renault in 2005 and 2006 under Briatore's stewardship while taking the fight to Michael Schumacher and Ferrari.
Alonso has had a storied F1 career, having represented seven teams in the sport. In the process, he has seen many forms of leadership at different ends of the grid.
The 41-year-old was speaking to the media before the 2023 F1 Saudi Arabian GP, where Sportskeeda was also present, when he was asked to comment on Stroll's leadership and where it stacked up in terms of the charisma he has seen from others in years past.
Fernando Alonso said:
"I think Flavio (Briatore) was as well very charismatic and a true leader and you have that unique strength. You have to be a leader for many people. Formula 1 organisations are more than 700 or 800 people and it isn't very easy with a lot of different characters and personalities in the team to follow always one voice and one leader."
The two-time world champion went on to add:
"So, you need to have something that makes people listen to you and respect you and I think only Flavio and Lawrence (Stroll) have that kind of leadership in all the teams that I have been working with."
This is very high praise for the Canadian businessman, who has been working hard to build a competitive racing team ever since he led a consortium to acquire the Force India team that went into administration a few years ago.
Max Verstappen expects Fernando Alonso to fight for race wins in 2023 with Aston Martin
Max Verstappen believes Aston Martin has a competitive package that could see them contending for race wins in the 2023 F1 season.
While Red Bull romped to a one-two-finish in the season opener in Bahrain, the talk of the town was Fernando Alonso's podium on debut for Aston Martin.
When asked if that result was a sign of an impending title challenge for Alonso during the post-race press conference in which Sportskeeda was present, Verstappen said:
"I hope so for Fernando Alonso because he has had a few years where there was not really a possibility to fight at the front, so I'm happy to see him sitting here already in race one. At Aston Martin, they really have the spirit and drive, they want to win and they've hired a lot of good people. So I guess it can only get better for them."
The reigning world champion went on to add:
"And I think for this year, it's difficult to say if they're going to challenge for the championship, but race wins are definitely on the table. You still win two or three races a year because sometimes they are some tracks which really suit your car and everything just comes together and you can win a race with maybe sometimes a bit of help or luck."
Fernando Alonso has not won a race since 2013. Meanwhile, Aston Martin have never won a race in the team's current iteration. However, it will come as no surprise if the Spaniard is the one to bring them that success.