Fernando Alonso was unsure if he was the best driver on the grid but said he still believes he is in the group of “very talented” drivers.
Going into 2023, Alonso is at a new team in the form of Aston Martin but a pre-season schedule is nothing new to the man who has recorded the most amount of laps in F1 history.
And even at the age of 41, Alonso continues to put in the kind of performances that made him a two-time World Champion and gave him such longevity in the sport.
But as to whether he is the best on the grid currently, that was not something he was willing to say.
“Nobody knows the answer to that question,” Alonso said. “Every season we keep changing opinion.
“We thought for many years that Michael Schumacher was unbeatable and had maybe reached a level that no one had in the history of Formula One. But, throughout the history of the sport, we’ve seen different drivers dominating – it’s impossible to compare them.
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“What I do know is that I always try to give my maximum. I’m never demotivated. It doesn’t matter whether I’m fighting for fifth or 15th, for me, it’s like fighting for the win because I have to make sure that I give 100 per cent on every lap of every race.”
No doubt self-belief has played a big part in Alonso’s career, as it has done in many F1 drivers, but Alonso said that he still has the hunger to be the best and that is what spurs him on.
“Whatever you do in life, you have to have this competitiveness inside you – you have to have this hunger to be the best,” the Aston Martin man added. “I’ve had this hunger since I was a kid. I’m always trying to beat everyone at anything I do.
“Whether it’s a race, a tennis match, a card game, or whatever, it’s about winning. It’s about taking advantage of your strengths and using your opponent’s weaknesses against them. If I can’t beat them with Plan A, I go to Plan B. If Plan B doesn’t work, I go to Plan C. I have to always beat whoever is in front of me.
“There are drivers who are in incredible form right now and I respect all of them. Every driver on the grid is very talented, but I’m also in that group and everyone in that group has different strengths and weaknesses. It’s how you use those strengths and weaknesses that sets you apart.”