Fernando Alonso: I’m going for the World Championship

After bagging third place at the 2023 Bahrain GP, Fernando Alonso is aiming for the F1 drivers' championship

-

Fernando Alonso is aiming high after an optimistic opening race of the 2023 Formula 1 season, setting his sights on a third world championship.

After nearly a decade in the wilderness at McLaren and Alpine, Alonso finally appears to be back in a car capable of fighting at the front of the F1 grid as he scored a podium in the opening race of the season in Bahrain.

But while other drivers would just focus on consolidating those top-three finishes, Alonso was unequivocal when asked about his goal for the 2023 season.

“The 100th podium? 33rd victory? I’m going for the World Championship,” Alonso told Canal+ France.

After deposing Michael Schumacher and Ferrari in 2005, and following it up with a second title in successive seasons in 2006, it looked like Alonso could have a rein of dominance similar to the German.

However, his move to McLaren combusted in just a single season and after two years back at an uncompetitive Renault, marred by the Crashgate controversy, he was unable to drag Ferrari to a title across five seasons despite being the favourite going into the 2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

He returned to McLaren in 2015 and helped torch their relationship with Honda before retiring for F1. His two-year stint at Alpine failed to deliver anything more than a podium, and it looked like his F1 career might end with a whimper.

However, the move to Aston Martin looks to have finally rejuvenated his career. They looked very strong at pre-season testing and followed that up with that season-opening podium to confirm themselves as true challengers.

Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez and Fernando Alonso on the podium at the Bahrain GP | Red Bull Content Pool

No such thing as coincidence?

Additionally, a strange pattern puts Alonso in good stead for finally adding to his world championship tally.

Since 2017, the driver who’s topped FP2 of the first grand prix of the season has won the world championship, and the Spaniard was the man to beat on Friday evening in Bahrain.

Meanwhile, the weight of history is against Verstappen. Since 2017, no driver has won the opening race of the season and gone on to win the world championship, and it was the Dutchman who took victory in Bahrain.

However, all of that will mean if Aston Martin can’t keep in touch with Red Bull especially through the first part of the season.

While Red Bull‘s aerodynamic testing penalty for breaking the 2021 cost cap should impact their in-season development as the year progresses, they seemed to be so far ahead of the rest of the field in Bahrain that they may be out of site before that penalty starts to bite.

The one saving grace for Alonso and his team is the calendar spread – thanks to the cancellation of the Chinese Grand Prix there’s just four races in the first two months of the season, compared to six in the same period at the end of the campaign.

Adam Dickinson
Adam Dickinson
An international multi-award-winning journalist, Adam Dickinson has written for Total-Motorsport.com since June 2022 and also contributes to TNT Sports, Eurosport and the Rugby Paper. He's also had articles published in the Daily Telegraph and several local newspapers, and previously worked for Last-Lap.co.uk and FeederSeries.net in motorsport and graduated with a First-Class Journalism Degree from the University of Sheffield having also studied in Oklahoma. Adam started watching F1 by accident in 2007, catching the last race in Indianapolis, and attended his first race as a journalist at the 2023 British Grand Prix.
- Advertisment -

LATEST NEWS

Max Verstappen in the Paddock ahead of the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

F1 Betting Odds for Chinese GP 2024

0
As the Formula 1 circus rolls into Shanghai for the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix, betting odds are keenly watched...
Pierre Gasly of Red Bull Racing during practice for 2019 Chinese Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Chinese GP 2024 Weather: Latest forecast for F1 race in Shanghai

0
As Formula 1 teams gear up for the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix, all eyes are on the ever-changing weather...
Zhou Guanyu displays 2024 Chinese GP helmet

All the new F1 driver helmets for 2024 Chinese Grand Prix

0
Formula 1 finally returns to Shanghai for the first time since 2019 as the Chinese Grand Prix is back...
Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull leads Kimi Raikkonen of Ferrari and the rest of the field at the start of the 2016 Chinese Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

F1 Chinese Grand Prix – Past Winners

0
The Chinese Grand Prix has showcased a series of spectacular races since its first race in 2004 at the...

Where to Watch F1 2024 Chinese GP on TV and Streaming

0
The 2024 Chinese Grand Prix is gearing up to be an electrifying event in the Formula 1 calendar, as...
The Chinese GP returned to the calendar in 2024 | Dan Istitene / Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Unpredictability and unknowns are the Chinese GP buzzwords

0
The Chinese Grand Prix is back for 2024 after five years away due the Covid-19 pandemic and it almost...
Race winner Max Verstappen, Second placed Sergio Perez and Third placed Carlos Sainz of Ferrari celebrate with Craig Dear, Principal Aerodynamicist at Red Bull Racing on the podium at 2024 Japanese Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Carlos Sainz fuels Red Bull talk as Ferrari star reveals ‘best options’

0
Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz has dropped a hint over which Formula 1 team he would like to join for...
The Chinese GP is held in Shanghai. F1/X

F1 stars voice safety fears as Chinese GP organisers face scrutiny over painted track

0
Organisers for the Formula 1 2024 Chinese Grand Prix are facing questions from F1 teams and drivers over their...
Alexander Albon of Williams during 2023 Canadian Grand Prix | Williams F1 Team

Alex Albon would rather ‘stay at home’ than avoid risks despite Williams chassis fears

0
The extent of the issues at Williams became apparent when they revealed they do not have the resources to...
Lando Norris navigates The Strip Circuit at the 2023 Las Vegas GP | McLaren F1 Team

Disheartened Lando Norris rules out any chance of an F1 race win soon

0
After the 2021 Russian Grand Prix, a Formula 1 win for Lando Norris felt like an eventual inevitability, but...
- Advertisment -