Watch out Max Verstappen…Fernando Alonso wants your number 33!

Thomas Maher
Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso jokes with Red Bull's Max Verstappen at the Australian Grand Prix. Melbourne, March 2023.

Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso jokes with Red Bull's Max Verstappen at the Australian Grand Prix. Melbourne, March 2023.

Max Verstappen and Fernando Alonso have joked about Alonso being able to use the number 33 next year, as he has become associated with the number recently.

Alonso scoring two podiums in a row since joining Aston Martin have resulted in obvious excitement about the possibility of the two-time World Champion being able to fight for his first victory in a decade.

With Alonso currently on 32 Grand Prix victories, should he manage to climb back onto the elusive top step of the podium, it would mark the Spaniard’s 33rd Grand Prix victory.

As a result, with hype about Alonso ramping up at home in Spain, it’s the Aston Martin driver who is slowly but surely becoming more associated with the number 33 – Max Verstappen’s permanent race number!

Verstappen hasn’t raced with the number 33 on his car since the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, with the Dutch driver making the most of his opportunity to run the number 1 on his car as a result of becoming the World Champion in 2021 and ’22.

Fernando Alonso: I’m going to ask for number 33 next year!

Heading into the Australian Grand Prix, Alonso was asked about the moment when tennis player Carlos Alcaraz wrote ’33?-soon’ on the lens of a camera – a shout-out to Alonso’s career total as a fan of his compatriot.

Sitting alongside Verstappen at the drivers’ press conference in Melbourne on Thursday, Verstappen quipped: “It’s a good number!” as Alonso was asked for his thoughts on the moment.

“I should ask if he’s [Max] still using Number 1, I will ask for 33 next year!” Alonso smiled. Should Verstappen win the title again in 2023, it’s likely he will run the number 1 once again, although 33 would still be held in reserve for Verstappen. recommends

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“Yeah, I mean, it’s crazy to see how Spain is now so enthusiastic, again, for Formula 1 and for everything that is happening. So, you know, this is very, very nice to see. And hopefully, I think they did enjoy these first two podiums, the whole country, and I think in Barcelona it’s going to be a big thing this year again.

“This 33, I don’t know, all these things that are happening now on social media… It was El Plan three years ago, and then The Mission, and now 33.

“So, there are a lot of 33s, and yeah, all the football clubs, or footballers, and now tennis, or whatever, and they are all doing something with 33. So, hopefully, we can reach that number in terms of wins, and then we go for 34!”

Max Verstappen: Fernando Alonso should have already won a lot more races

Verstappen was asked for his thoughts on whether he’d be interested in helping out Alonso with some ’33’ free merchandise if the victory does come for Alonso this season.

“Yeah, we always have stock, don’t worry!” he laughed.

“I think Fernando should have won, already, a lot more races than he has done. I think he deserves a lot more. So yeah, I mean, I would be quite happy to see him win number 33. But I also, in a way, also would like to see him win more. So we’ll see in the coming races.”

Alonso did reach a milestone number last time out in Saudi Arabia, with his on-off-on podium finish the 100th in his long F1 career. As just the sixth driver to reach such a large number of podium finishes, the Spaniard said it wasn’t one he was focussing too much on.

“Well, obviously it feels good, feels nice to reach that number,” he said.

“But yeah, obviously when you are in a Championship, you’re not really concentrated on that, you are just thinking about the next weekend, as we did after Jeddah, and here we are in Melbourne, and hopefully we have a strong weekend again.”