Fernando Alonso has named the Hungaroring and Jeddah as the two venues where he would like to deliver a surprise in 2021.
The two-time former World Champion made his Formula 1 comeback for 2021 with Alpine and after a tricky start, Alonso is now starting to return to form after four consecutive points finishes.
The season as scheduled though is still yet to reach its halfway point, so there are plenty more tracks coming up for Alonso to re-familiarise himself with, or in certain cases drive for the first time.
And it is a combination of the two which Alonso named when asked for the two tracks where he most wants to shine and spring a shock result.
The Hungaroring is a venue Alonso knows all about, since this is the place where he won his first Formula 1 race at the 2003 Hungarian Grand Prix.
Meanwhile, the Jeddah Street Circuit, which will host Formula 1’s first Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, will be a new venue for every driver.
“I’m not as clear as in other years which are the best or worst circuits. There’s been a little bit of…it’s been random, the performance of some cars at some circuits,” he is quoted as saying by Motorsport.com when asked where he would most like to shine.
“Let’s say, for romanticism, Hungary, because I got my first win there and it’s just around the corner.
“And then…I don’t know, maybe the new one in Saudi Arabia. Let’s see if on a new track and with few practice sessions we have a chance to stand out.”
The fluctuation seen in the pecking order at times this season has opened up opportunities for drivers outside of the Mercedes and Red Bull battle.
Lando Norris has made the podium three times already in 2021, while also emerging as a shock contender for pole position at the Emilia Romagna and Austrian GPs.
Charles Leclerc took back-to-back poles in Monaco and Baku, while Sebastian Vettel also has a P2 finish to his name in Baku where Pierre Gasly crossed the line P3.
And so all of this motivates Alonso as he hopes for his own opportunity to seize the moment.
“You always think positive, no matter if you start a little bit behind or a little bit better, you always think to see if the strategy goes well,” he said.
“This year the starts have been very clean, nothing has happened. But this can change at any moment. If you get to Silverstone or Hungary and the two Mercedes and a Red Bull or something touch each other, that is three out of the list.
“The opportunity can come, as we saw in Monaco…Charles didn’t make the start and Bottas retired at the pit-stop.
“In Baku, Hamilton went off and Verstappen blew his tyre and suddenly Gasly was second. There’s always a chance and always that hope.”