F1 presenter Rob Kamphues says while he would love to see Max Verstappen and Fernando Alonso as team-mates, Alonso is probably now “too old” for such a challenge.
Alonso has proven to be quite the revelation in F1 2023 as he continues to demonstrate at the wheel of the Aston Martin AMR23 that age is just a number.
The Spaniard left Alpine for a multi-year deal with Aston Martin, the team with which the 42-year-old Alonso has claimed seven podium finishes, including P2s at the 2023 Monaco, Canadian and Dutch GPs.
Fernando Alonso “too old” to be Max Verstappen’s team-mate
The ultimate goal for Aston Martin and Alonso is to take another giant step forward next season and take the fight to F1 2023’s dominant force Red Bull, who once more are having some trouble with the driver in their second seat.
There are zero concerns for Verstappen, who with his 13th victory of the season in Japan, continued his inevitable march towards a third World Championship on the trot, but team-mate Sergio Perez is going through another highly-concerning rough patch.
The Mexican’s racecraft, often his strength during this dauting challenge as Verstappen’s team-mate, has gone missing in recent rounds with Alex Albon and Kevin Magnussen both victims of clumsy moves.
He is under contract at Red Bull until the end of 2024, though this latest slump has caused speculation to bubble up again that Red Bull could look elsewhere for Verstappen’s F1 2024 team-mate.
However, speaking on Ziggo Sport’s ‘Race Café’, as per GPFans, Kamphues feels the ship has probably sailed for a Verstappen-Alonso dream pairing.
“Surely he is a touch too old, with all due respect,” said Kamphues of Alonso.
“I would love it. I am a fan of Alonso, but I don’t see it happening.”
Alonso has comfortably had the beating of his team-mate too this season, boasting those seven podiums to Lance Stroll’s zero, while Alonso has scored 174 points, Stroll 47.
Aston Martin have struggled though to keep pace with Mercedes, Ferrari and McLaren in the F1 2023 development war, IndyCar racer Rinus VeeKay claiming team and driver have fallen into a “slump” as the season has gone on.
But, with Alonso clearly the Aston Martin driver that is impressing, VeeKay is not sure Alonso would benefit from having a team-mate challenge like Verstappen at this stage.
“Talking about team-mates, that’s of little use to him,” said VeeKay. “What I had with Ryan Hunter-Reay [as IndyCar team-mates], he has the opposite with Lance Stroll.”
Alonso remains very much in contention for the P2 spot in the Drivers’ Championship, the two-time World Champion currently P4 and 49 points behind Perez in that position.