Fernando Alonso open to blockbuster partnership with Max Verstappen

Oliver Harden
Max Verstappen and Fernando Alonso smiling on the podium with their champagne bottles. Bahrain March 2023

Race winner Max Verstappen and third placed Fernando Alonso smiling on the podium with their champagne bottles. Bahrain March 2023

Aston Martin driver Fernando Alonso says it would be “an honour” to race at Le Mans as a team-mate to Formula 1 rival Max Verstappen in the future.

A mutual respect exists between the two-time World Champions, with Alonso and Verstappen frequently airing their admiration for each other’s achievements in recent times.

The pair have shared the podium at four of the first five rounds of the 2023 season following Aston Martin’s emergence as a leading F1 force, with the AMR23’s high-downforce performance leading to hopes that Alonso could challenge Verstappen’s dominant Red Bull for victory at this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix.

Sharing a Toyota with two ex-F1 stars, Switzerland’s Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima of Japan, Alonso won the historic Le Mans 24 Hours event twice in consecutive years in 2018 and 2019.

And with Verstappen speaking openly about moving into endurance racing when his F1 career comes to an end, Alonso would relish the chance to link up with the Red Bull driver.

According to RacingNews365.com, Alonso told media on the prospect of partnering Verstappen at Le Mans: “In the future, for sure, if there is any opportunity.

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“We are very good friends, we are always in contact. I would love to do Le Mans – if I do Le Mans once again – with Max.

“You know that [when] you pass the car [to your team-mates], when you go to rest, [you are passing it to] the best [drivers], so your car is in the best hands.

“That would be an honour.”

Speaking in the afterglow of his second title triumph in December 2022, Verstappen told Viaplay F1 Talks of his ambition to make his debut in endurance racing within three years.

With still so much to achieve in F1, he admitted his desire to fast-track the start of his endurance career is driven by a hunger to share a racing car with father Jos, 51, who made 106 grand prix starts between 1994 and 2003.

“He’s getting too old and I want to do it with him,” he said.

Verstappen told the same source of his admiration for Alonso, describing his passion for racing as his greatest quality.

He said: “He is fast and he’s still very motivated. Every time I talk to him, it’s like talking to a 30-year-old who is still in the middle of his career.

“He loves it. That’s why he’s doing it.”

With Alonso embarking upon his 20th full season in F1 in 2023 and rapidly approaching his 42nd birthday, Verstappen insisted he has no ambition of emulating the Spaniard’s longevity.

Asked if he could see himself still racing at Alonso’s age, he replied: “Definitely not! Not in Formula 1, who knows what else.”