The F1 world was surprised when the first domino to fall in the F1 transfer ‘silly season’ was Fernando Alonso, who announced a move to Aston Martin to replace the retiring Sebastian Vettel in 2023.
Aston Martin currently find themselves languishing in seventh place in the constructors’ championship with 49 points, while his current team Alpine are flying high as the ‘best of the rest’ in fourth place, sat on 153 points.
The two-time world champion has now made the bold claim that his new team will be fighting for the world championship in 2023, despite finding themselves over 600 points behind championship winners Red Bull, with two races still to go.
“Aston Martin are not here to finish fifth, or sixth, or fourth in the constructor’s championship. They are here to win the world championship and that’s what we’ll be trying to do in 2023 and 2024,” he said when asked about his target for next season.
The two-time world champion recently admitted that he is getting tired of all the problems he is facing at Alpine with his car’s reliability, hinting that there is some favouritism towards teammate Esteban Ocon.
Alonso spoke cryptically after his retirement at the Mexican Grand Prix, his fifth DNF of the season, saying that once again car number 14 breaks down, insinuating that it is always his car having the problems as opposed to Ocon’s.
Team principal Otmar Szafnauer has been quick to put these rumours to bed, as has Ocon himself, reminding Alonso of his two DNFs this season, alongside a whole host of other issues that he has experienced this year.
Currently sat ninth in the drivers’ championship, Alonso will be left wondering what he could have achieved this year, with his points total of 71 being well below what he would want to be on at this point in the season due to the constant battles with his car.
Despite the friction beginning to emerge between Alonso and his current employers, he will be giving it everything he can to end his stay at the team on a high note, with strong results in Brazil and Abu Dhabi being crucial to fending off McLaren, who have closed the gap behind them in the championship to only seven points.
On a personal note, the 41-year-old would like to overhaul the 11 point difference to his teammate ahead of him in the championship, and leapfrog Ocon in to eighth place.