F1 2023 – Alonso will actually be competitive?
Fernando Alonso feels he has the strength to continue competing at the top level. When he retires, which won’t be anytime soon, he will evaluate his options.
It is not known what Fernando Alonso will do when he leaves Formula 1 because that decision does not seem to be forthcoming any time soon. The Oviedo-born driver is 41 years old, but he still has a superb physique. He takes the utmost care of himself and it shows.
Fernando Alonso has revealed the criteria for his F1 retirement despite recently signing a multi-year contract with Aston Martin.
The 41-year-old will compete for the Silverstone-based team this season after joining from Alpine as the replacement for four-time champion Sebastian Vettel.
Although Alonso is far from the oldest driver to have raced in F1 – the honour belonging to Louis Chiron at 58 years and 277 days – he is the oldest on the current grid.
It has naturally resulted in questions being raised as to how long the Spaniard can remain in the sport.
Addressing this in an interview with select media, including F1Lead, Alonso said: “I will take it year by year.
“As I said,  maybe I was not 100 percent. If I do a few seasons like that, even if I perform from the outside okay but I don’t feel happy myself, maybe I would stop.”
Addressing last season’s performance, Alonso added: “I feel very proud. I will continue whatever the results are because I know what I can give to the team.
“Two to three years, for sure.”
“Alonso has been absolutely fascinating to follow since he came back into F1, and has been performing at a very high level,” said Ken.
“And ultimately he is still motivated by the tiny possibility – and he admits that however slim the chances, he will hold onto this – of winning more races and becoming a three-time world champion.
“So he is going to Aston Martin to get what I am sure will be a very rewarding pay cheque, but he is adamant that there is competitive motivation there.
“And we know what Alonso’s like as a character. He’s not going to accept another season – or multiple seasons – like Aston Martin had in 2022.”
“Now there is huge potential in that project, so if you marry the Lawrence Stroll/Aston Martin ambition with the people that they’ve recruited in the technical team and the race operation team and Alonso himself, you have all the ingredients for that to be a stunningly, stunningly good relationship given the level Alonso is still performing at,” Ken Kiz admits.
“But when was the last time Fernando Alonso made a career move that emphatically worked out for the better?
“A quite impatient owner, a team that has underperformed, a driver that does have a tendency to have increasingly tense relationships, two drivers that are pretty willing to clash with their team-mates on occasion, and a slightly awkward dynamic with the Strolls given Alonso has the team owner’s son as his team-mate… it also has the potential to be explosive for absolutely the wrong reasons.”
Alpine’s reluctance to give Alonso the length of contract he wanted was key to him jumping ship for Aston Martin, so his expectation is that he’ll be racing for this team well into his 40s and the mid-2020s.
While he certainly sees the potential for an intra-team explosion here, Ken predicts it’ll be on a slow-burn fuse.
“I suspect we won’t get an emphatic answer either way in 2023,” he concluded on whether Alonso and Aston Martin can thrive together.
“But we’ll see the way it starts to go early on. I’m really, really fascinated to see how that plays out, for better or worse.”
Ken thinks Alonso is going to have to keep his expectations low initially because of the scale of change happening at the team as Aston Martin builds and moves into its new factory.
“We know that in 2023 there’s no reason to expect Aston Martin to be a huge amount better,” he argued.
“I think they will be stronger but if you look at their overall performance potential, they’re still working on their new factory. They’re moving into that this year, the windtunnel will be up and running the year after.
“So it’s still a team that’s in a transition period. There are certainly five teams – the big three and then McLaren and Alpine – that there is no reason Aston Martin could expect to be ahead of yet.
“It’s in that group with Alfa Romeo, which has good investment and is coming on, and AlphaTauri, which has the partnership with Red Bull that helps it.
“It’s difficult to see a scenario where Aston Martin is brilliant in 2023, even though historically the team – in its previous guises – has a bit of a knack for overachieving.
“It will certainly be stronger, and it did come on quite strongly in the second half of last year. Almost getting sixth in the championship was a quite remarkable turnaround from where they were early on in the year.
“But it’s a long-term project.”
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F1 2023 – Alonso will actually be competitive? F1 2023 – Alonso will actually be competitive?
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