‘If Fernando Alonso doesn’t win this year, his speed will start declining’

Henry Valantine
Fernando Alonso stands on the podium. Melbourne April 2023.

Aston Martin driver Fernando Alonso stands while the national anthems play on the podium. Australia April 2023.

Two-time World Champion, Mika Hakkinen believes that his fellow multiple champion, Fernando Alonso needs to get wins on the board this year in Formula 1 – otherwise his speed will begin to decline.

Alonso clocked up another career milestone at the Spanish Grand Prix, with his 362nd F1 start meaning that he had started one-third of all the Grands Prix ever contested in the sport’s history, as Formula 1’s most experienced driver looked to recover from a tough qualifying session the day before.

His home event in Barcelona was only the second time all season the Spaniard had finished off the podium, and the 41-year-old has shown no sign at all of slowing down in his career.

That being said, former McLaren driver Hakkinen believes there will come a time that Alonso will not be as fast as he was before, stating the “law of physics” will catch up to him – despite the “incredible job” he has done since moving to Aston Martin this season.

With that in mind, he believes the 32-time race winner needs to make hay while the sun shines in order to add to his career win tally, which has been lying dormant for almost a decade in Formula 1.

“Yes, Fernando Alonso is a wily old fox,” Hakkinen told Unibet.

“I ended my F1 career in 2001, a long time ago. When I retired, I was about 33, I thought I had a tough career behind me. Around the time I retired, Fernando entered Formula 1 – from that it’s easy to count how long he’s been around.

“He’s doing an incredible job and the patience he has to race without winning, because you go there to win.

“You need to find the right place at the right time. He’s done a great job, but the one thing I know is that if he doesn’t win this year, his speed will start declining. It’s a law of physics.”

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Alonso has excelled since moving from Alpine to Aston Martin, not least because his new team have taken arguably the biggest leap forward of any on the grid performance-wise between 2022 and 2023.

With five podiums so far this year and a pretty comprehensive upper hand over team-mate Lance Stroll, the Finn believes Alonso has pushed the team up a gear – though added that the work the team has done behind the scenes over the past several years is also now seeing results.

“Absolutely,” Hakkinen said when asked if Alonso has raised Aston Martin’s level. “He has motivated everyone in the team to push forward, but the fact is that the people who have worked in the background over the years are the ones who have built a good car.

“A good driver appearing doesn’t cause that, the work has been done beforehand. Now the question is what happens in the future.

“Will the results continue to be good? It depends on who they have working there.”