Two key signings were what prompted Flavio Briatore to tell Fernando Alonso to join the Aston Martin Formula 1 team, he has revealed.
Former Benetton and Renault boss Briatore is currently Alonso's manager - with the Spaniard claiming his two world titles under the Italian in 2005 and 2006.
After returning to Grand Prix racing in 2021 with Alpine, Alonso elected to jump ship for 2023, joining Aston Martin to replace the retiring Sebastian Vettel.
He has enjoyed a strong start to the season, claiming four third places and a fourth from the opening five rounds to have 75 points, including the points from the sprint race in Azerbaijan.
In 2022, Alonso scored 81 points all season, and is currently on course to hit three figures for the first time since his final Ferrari season in 2014.
And Briatore has explained how two important signings were the catalyst for the move.
Viewed by others:
Briatore's Alonso advice
As part of their attempts to build up into a position to challenge for wins and titles, Aston have signed key technical people from Red Bull and Mercedes.
"[Fernando] is the real surprise of this World Championship, with Aston Martin, a team that until last year was not competitive," as Briatore explained to Italian outlet Il Riformista.
"Then they raided the number two of Red Bull and Mercedes, and are investing heavily in technology and the factory [at their Silverstone base]," he added, referring to the signings of Adrian Newey lieutenant Dan Fallows from Red Bull and Mercedes chief aerodynamicist Eric Blandin.
"For these reasons, I pushed Fernando to join Aston Martin, which is now [in] second [place in the Constructors' Championship] after [five] Grands Prix.
"Aston did well in the last round in Miami, although it was not exactly a circuit that suits the car well, but if nothing unexpected happens, the World Championship is already [decided], but some circuits like Monte Carlo can always [create] a big surprise."
Briatore is sure that Max Verstappen is also set to become a three-time World Champion.
"Red Bull is doing a separate championship, and Verstappen has the strength and style and the World Championship is already his," Briatore added.
"[Red Bull] is going strong because they work better together and have the one true genius that is Adrian Newey."
Balve Bains is joined by RacingNews365.com Editorial Director Dieter Rencken and Asia Correspondent Michael Butterworth to dissect the key talking points from the Miami Grand Prix.