Aston Martin team boss Mike Krack says the outfit's signing of Fernando Alonso is a clear statement of intent of its winning ambitions in Formula 1.
Last week, as pundits and F1 fans awaited news of Alonso extending his deal with Alpine for 2023, Aston Martin announced out of the blue that the Spaniard would be replacing from 2023 future F1 retiree Sebastian Vettel.
At 41, Alonso is no longer at the sharp end of his career, but the two-time world champion's motivation and skills remain as pointed as ever.
For Krack, there are no doubts that Alonso's qualities and character will add value to Aston Martin and drive the team towards its ultimate goal of fighting for race wins and championships.
"He just has that killer instinct," said the Aston team boss, quoted by Motorsport Week.
"No matter what, you know that Fernando will always give you everything: always push 100 per cent, always extract the maximum from the car and the team.
"His racecraft is exceptional – a formidable combination of confidence, instinct and intelligence.
"Signing Fernando is a clear statement of our intent at Aston Martin F1. We are not on the grid to make up the numbers. We are here to win."
Aston team owner Lawrence Stroll is making every effort to transform his team into a championship winning outfit, a target that the Canadian billionaire believes will unfold over the next four years.
Aston's heavy investments under Stroll's guidance include a state-of-the-art new factory and wind tunnel, as well as populating the team's engineering department with high-profile senior personnel such as Red Bull's ex-aero chief Dan Fallows.
Krack says Aston's comprehensive and uncompromising development plans, along with a multi-year contract and likely a big retainer, were crucial in securing Alonso's services.
"We are on a journey to the front of the grid and Fernando’s decision to join us on that journey – to have a driver of his calibre believe in the Aston Martin F1 project – is a great compliment to our team and the work we are doing," said Krack.
"He will demand a lot from us, but that’s to be expected from a multiple World Champion.
"Fernando will be a driving force as we climb together and, like everyone in the team, I cannot wait to work with him.
"The prospect of having Fernando and Lance in the car next year is a hugely exciting one."