Is Christian Horner thinking about replacing Sergio Perez with Fernando Alonso?

Fernando Alonso and Max Verstappen have shared the podium at five races this season, as Aston Martin fights to end Red Bull’s era of dominance.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has compared Max Verstappen and Fernando Alonso, believing the duo are far ahead of their competitors after the drivers had a close battle for pole at the Monaco Grand Prix.

On the streets of Monte Carlo, Alonso took provisional pole with an impressive last lap effort in qualifying before Verstappen pipped him to P1 with a stunning last sector drive, as the Dutchman crossed the line just 0.008 seconds ahead of the Spaniard.

Sat in P3 in the Drivers’ Standings, Alonso has been the closest non-Red Bull rival to Verstappen, as the Dutchman fights to secure his third consecutive world championship, with the pair having been on the podium together in five races.

The strong qualifying effort and subsequent race pace shown by Alonso impressed even his rival’s boss, as Horner praised the Spaniard for showing he is on par with Verstappen’s skill on-track.

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“[Aston Martin] are the closest [to Red Bull],” Horner told reporters.

“You can see the rest of the field were a long way behind. It was only Fernando that was able to stay in touch with Max, keep within a pit stop window, dancing around that Safety Car window as well. 

“It’s always a great leveller when the circuit goes a bit damp or the conditions vary – then you see how the drivers adapt, and you can see both of those two guys were head and shoulders above the rest of the field.”

With his skill and experience shining through, Horner believes that Alonso has got new found confidence behind the wheel of the Aston Martin this year, identifying some similarities between the Spaniard and Red Bull’s star driver.

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“It’s great to see his confidence, the way he’s driving the car,” Horner said.

“He and Max are very similar in many respects; the way they drive, how tenacious they are. They’re always pushing, and you can see that they enjoy that competition as well.”

READ: Red Bull lambast Sergio Perez for ‘unreasonable’ performance

While Alonso is taking the fight to Verstappen and Red Bull, it looks unlikely that the Spaniard will be able to claim the Drivers’ title this season, given the pace of the RB19.

For Aston Martin, it will be even harder to claim the Constructors’ title, as, while Alonso has been a strong performer, Lance Stroll has struggled to find similar success, costing the team valuable points.