As the most experienced driver in the history of the sport, with a total of 355 starts to his name, Fernando Alonso has nothing to prove to the F1 community.
It has however been some time since the Oviedo native was hitting the F1 news headlines, and he has certainly fallen someway down the pecking order for those taking in the latest F1 betting options according to newbettingsites UK. Alonso however may be hoping that begins to change in the coming years, with this week bringing the announcement that he will be joining the improving Aston Martin team.
Securing the Services of an All-time Great
From Aston Martin’s perspective, this must count as a major coup in securing the services of an F1 legend who clearly believes he has a lot still to give, even at 41 years of age. Alonso’s lack of recent success certainly shouldn’t cloud his overall F1 record, which makes for impressive reading by any standards.
Making his debut for Minardi at the Australian Grand Prix of 2001, and registering his first win with Renault in 2003, it was with the French manufacturer with whom Alonso enjoyed his greatest success – winning back-to-back Championships in 2005 and 2006. Going on to stints with Mercedes, Ferrari, McLaren and Alpine, Alsonso’s overall record now stands at 355 starts, 32 wins, 98 podiums and 2061 career points.
Alpine’s Loss Aston Martins Gain
With just one podium in 44 starts for Alpine – whom he joined following a two-year break from F1 in 2019 and 2020 – the signs were there that a new challenge may be needed for Alonso, with consistent reliability issues undermining his overall driving performance.
However, it seems that it was a contract dispute which ultimately pushed the Spanish Driver towards pastures new. Seeking a multi-year deal, but only offered a single-year extension by Alpine, Alonso has instead taken up the option of a two-year deal – with the possibility of an extension – with the British manufacturer.
Motivation Remains High
Far from running down the final years in the cockpit, the winning instinct remains strong in Alonso. When explaining his current motivation levels, it seems that despite his advancing years, he still has his eyes on the very top of the sport, the two-time champ stating, “Ultimately winning the championship is what motivates me every day so [I am] still thinking the third [title] will be possible one day,”.
That may seem a lofty goal when joining a team who have finished seventh in each of their two seasons since joining F1 in 2021 but, despite a dip in points last season from 2021, many within the sport believe that Aston Martin now at least has a solid base from which to close the gap on those above.
Alonso himself seems to be in it for the long haul and acknowledges that it may take a little time for his new employer to reach their goals, stating, “Maybe not next year, but who knows in the future. And now with this project of Aston Martin, there are other things appealing to me – to try to build the team not from scratch but after this year they are hoping [to be] much better in the next few seasons.”, and, “I don’t know if I will be driving that year in the car but if not I hope I will still be in the organisation somehow and still be proud of that championship.”