Fernando Alonso will be making his return to F1 in just a couple of days after spending two years outside the pinnacle of motorsport.
The Spaniard will be returning with the newly rebranded Alpine F1 Team, which is effectively still Renault’s F1 works operation, and he is confident that he has what it takes to be competitive despite his age.
“I’m back in Formula One with the aim of doing well, obviously, and with the aim of having the chance to win races and hopefully to fight for Championships,” the 39-year-old said in an interview with the BBC this week.
“We understand this year it’s not going to be possible because the regulations are… a little bit different but basically the same.
“But I think in 2022 there’s a chance, with the new regulations, of mixing the order of the grid,” Alonso added.
Asked for thoughts on being on the same grid as Sir Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen once more, and having a Schumacher back in Formula One, Alonso said:
“It’s going to be great, I’m looking forward. There’s some young talented guys who have been showing great performances in the younger categories.
“And then we still have the Champions who were here two years ago, with Lewis, Sebastian, Kimi and Verstappen.”
Asked if he believes he is as good as them, Alonso flatly replied: “I am better.”
Alonso won both of his F1 titles with Renault, in 2005 and 2006, but a third Championship has thus far been elusive.
He came close in 2007 with McLaren and in 2010 and 2012 with Ferrari.
Alonso eventually decided to re-join McLaren in 2015, but the team struggled due to the unreliable and underpowered Honda power unit and deficiencies in its chassis.