Fernando Alonso reveals two factors that will make third F1 title very hard

Michelle Foster
Fernando Alonso embraces his engineer. Jeddah March 2023.

Aston Martin driver Fernando Alonso embraces a team member after qualifying. Saudi Arabia March 2023.

Fernando Alonso believes a third World title is “possible”, the Aston Martin driver saying that’s the reasons he continues racing.

But neither time nor Red Bull will make it easy for him.

Swapping Alpine for Aston Martin in the off-season, a move that raised eyebrows in the paddock, Alonso seems to have made an inspired decision this time around with the AMR23 the closest challenger to Red Bull.

With three podiums in three races, Alonso has made his best start to a Formula 1 season in a decade, some would argue his best start since his 2006 title-winning season with Renault. It has the Spaniard dreaming of a third World title.

“Always,” he told Aston Martin sponsor Bang and Olufsen. “I believe it’s possible that’s why I keep racing obviously.

“The challenge is big, we need to overcome some difficulties and some top teams that are now on top of the sport but I race every every day and I train every day thinking the fact that it is possible.”

It, however, won’t be this season with the 41-year-old acknowledging there are still too many obstacles for Aston Martin to overcome. Instead the intention this season is to put the building blocks in place for a more sustained 2024 challenge, and just maybe grab win number 33 in the process.

“I think at the moment we have to keep our feet in the ground,” he added. “The aim for the team is just to have a good season.

“They struggled a lot in 2022 so I think we have to, let’s say, walk before run. And I think this 2023 campaign is just about getting better, get to know the car better, start a new project from day one. And that’s where we are at the moment.

“Hopefully we will have more podiums, and hopefully we fight for race wins. But I think to to fight for the championship, I think we need to, as I said, set the team a little bit before doing that.”

In an ideal world three would lead to four and so on with Alonso saying the only record that matters in Formula 1 is the most for the most World titles. That belongs to Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton who are tied on seven.

“I think when you race for many years you start breaking records,” said the Spaniard. “But I think the only thing that matters is to win and to break the record of championships.

“And at the moment that’s probably unreachable, because seven of Michael and seven of Hamilton are out of the possibility but that will be the aim ultimately.”

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Can Alonso turn the dream of three into reality?

Alonso potentially has two years left in Formula 1, maybe even just one with his former partner Andrea Schlager recently revealing he will “most probably” quit after 2024.

That doesn’t give him much time to win a third title, after all it would seem Red Bull already have 2023’s championships wrapped up, such is their on-track advantage over their rivals.

Leading that pack of rivals is Alonso’s Aston Martin team, the Spaniard third in the Drivers’ standings and Aston Martin P2 in the Constructors’.

But as Alonso himself says, this year is about building for a more sustained challenge come 2024, he’s not even sure if he can win a race this season.

Sadly for the Spaniard, 2024 may also be a season or three too early for an Aston Martin title tilt because of the deficit to Red Bull.

Although Aston Martin is the most improved team this season, up by two seconds a lap compared to last year according to Toto Wolff, it has often been said that closing those final metres, or in this case milliseconds, is more difficult as there is less scope to improve. Added to that Red Bull will be making small gains of their own.

While one would be hard-pressed to find anyone in the paddock who would begrudge Alonso a third title, he is after all living the fairytale this season, time and Red Bull are not on his side.