Fernando Alonso warns Max Verstappen about his career

Fernando Alonso has cautioned fellow F1 driver Max Verstappen that Red Bull’s reign of dominance could come to a swift end if rivals address their performance failings.

In a cautionary message to Max Verstappen, Fernando Alonso, a seasoned Formula 1 driver, has emphasised that success in the sport can be as fleeting as it is gratifying. 

Despite Verstappen’s current dominance in the championship, leading by a substantial 53 points in his pursuit of a third title, Alonso, drawing from his own experiences, advises the Red Bull driver to remain vigilant.

Alonso, who clinched his World Championships in 2005 and 2006, only to face arduous challenges during his stint at McLaren alongside Lewis Hamilton, recognises the volatility of Formula 1. 

Since his last triumph, over a decade ago, the Spanish driver has struggled to secure another victory, highlighting the capricious nature of the sport.

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Speaking to the PA news agency, Alonso conveyed his belief that Red Bull’s prominence will endure until the regulations change in 2026, providing Verstappen with numerous opportunities to claim victories. 

With the extended calendar now offering 24 chances to win each year, Alonso acknowledged the potential for Verstappen to break records along the way. However, he cautioned against complacency, stressing that unforeseen circumstances can swiftly alter the landscape of the sport.

“Until the regulations change in 2026, Red Bull will contend for the championships so there will be many chances for Max to win races,” Alonso told PA.

“He is young, the calendar is longer than ever before, with 24 opportunities to win every year, so he can break the records along the way.

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“But there are also no guarantees. When I won two championships [in 2005 and 2006], I thought I would win a few more and have a lot of wins, so Max cannot relax because things can change quickly.”

Despite Red Bull’s current stronghold as the dominant constructor, Formula 1 boasts a grid teeming with immense talent, including three world champions, ten race winners, and promising prospects such as Lando Norris and Charles Leclerc. 

Even at the age of 41, Alonso himself has showcased remarkable performances in 2023, currently occupying a high position in the Drivers’ standings just behind the Red Bull duo.

Alonso’s warning extends beyond Verstappen, as he acknowledges the perpetual threat posed by Lewis Hamilton and his Mercedes team. 

Anticipating Hamilton’s contention for an eighth championship title, Alonso recognizes the formidable strength of the Mercedes team and Hamilton’s unwavering skill as a driver. 

Although the Mercedes car may not be the easiest or fastest, Hamilton consistently demonstrates his prowess, remaining a consistent presence on the race weekend podium.

“Lewis [Hamilton] will be in contention for the eighth title,” Alonso said.

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“I don’t know if that will be next year, or in the future, but he will have another chance of winning the championship, that is for sure.

“Mercedes are a very strong team, and Lewis is a very strong driver. He doesn’t forget how to drive from one season to the next.

“The Mercedes car is not an easy one to drive and it is not a fast car, but you see every weekend that Lewis is always there – fourth, fifth, fourth, and he was second in Australia. He is driving on top of the car.”