Alonso and Formula 1: an inexhaustible story

  • The Asturian rider, who made his debut in 2001, faces his 19th season in the World Championship with the utmost ambition.

Fernando Alonso is about to start his 19th season in the World Cup and barring unforeseen events, this year he will become the driver with the most Grand Prix races in the history of Formula 1. The Spaniard, who debuted in Australia in 2001add a total of 334GP, that is, he is 16 years away from equaling the longevity record of Kimi Raikkonen (350). ‘Iceman’ is no longer active and Alonso has 22 races ahead of him to catch up with him in 2022.

But Fernando, who left the championship in 2018 and decided to return last year to join the new Alpine and Renault project, he is not on the grid driven by statistics. to their 40 years and after two decades in the elite of motorsports, if something motivates the two-time Spanish champion it is none other than winning. And in it it is, although some still mistrust the ‘Plan‘ that Alonso and Alpine have in their hands. “You have to believe & rdquor ;, he says.

The plan in motion

At the moment, the expectations are best after the Bahrain tests, that Alonso said goodbye with a good taste in his mouth, after leaving behind the countless problems of ‘youth’ revealed by his new single-seater A522 since the start of the preseason in Barcelona.

The image of his Alpine wrapped in a thick smoke at the Circuit did not make the best impression and the incidents were also repeated in the circuit of sakhir. However, on his last day of testing Alonso was able to complete 122 laps (4th) and got out of the car convinced that “we are going to arrive much more prepared than I thought at the first race & rdquor ;.

As for his dream of achieving a third Crown, Fernando believes that the new rules that F1 inaugurates this year to balance the grid and enhance the show favor him: “I think that in the short or medium term we will have our opportunity & rdquor ;, he stresses.

20 years at the top

Fernando has written some of the brightest pages in history of F1 and in addition to his two world titles (2005 and 2006), he has a total of 32 wins, 22 pole positions, 98 podiums, 23 fastest laps, 1,769 laps in the lead and 1,980 points. But the best of all is that after 20 years in the ‘Great Circus’, the Asturian pilot has not lost his enthusiasm or his characteristic ambition.

Alpine looks to the medium term, to fight for the title in 2024, but Alonso pushes to accelerate ‘The Plan’

“We are still learning about the new cars and its settings. We tested several things with some clear results and that’s what you want to do in the tests. It was very productive and we are better than expected & rdquor ;, Alonso said in Bahrain with a smile.

At this point not even the pilots themselves know exactly where they are compared to the competition. Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedesin this order, seem favorites right now, although Fernando warns that until the first classification of the season, this Saturday, March 19, there will not be a defined image of the grid: “We don’t know what the others are doing, what program they have followed in the tests and how much fuel they were wearing So we better focus on ourselves to arrive in the best possible conditions and from there, be able to react and evolve quickly in the factory & rdquor ;.

optimistic speech

Otmar Szafnauerwho makes his debut at the head of the Alpine team, maintains the prudence in his evaluation of the preseason, but the balance is positive: “On the last test day in Bahrain we were able to complete a significant amount of work towards the first grand prix. Stephen and Ferdinand They put in more than 100 laps each and with that we were able to make up for the loss of track time on the last day of the Barcelona test. We focus on fine tune settings and enhance many of the finer details. A lot of laps means a lot of learning and we have made significant progress with the car this week. We hope to make more improvements in the coming days & rdquor ;, warns.

“Starting this weekend we will really compete and it will be a exciting moment for the team and the fans”. Alpine’s sporting director, Alan Permaine, assures that Alonso has already told them that the A522 is “a fast car & rdquor ;. While he doesn’t expect to be fighting for pole in Bahrain, he does believe he should be in Q3 and ready to fight from the start.

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Where is the ribbon?

Alonso believes that “2022 is going to be a long-distance race” and the development of the car is going to be huge. “I remember that last year in Bahrain I left and Esteban was far from the points. Months later we won a race in Hungary, I got on the podium in Qatar and we finished with a good performance & rdquor ;. Where is the bar now? Alpine hopes to fight for the title from 2024. Fernando wants it to be sooner. We have to speed up ‘The Plan’.

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