Jean Alesi backs Alonso to succeed at Aston if the car is good enough

Jean Alesi backs Alonso to succeed at Aston if the car is good enough

Jean Alesi believes Fernando Alonso can still be a winner in Formula 1 at Aston Martin, with the Spaniard heading into 2023.

Sebastian Vettel’s departure from Aston and F1 at the end of this season opened up a place within the team and Alonso was quick to fill it, with him on the cusp of moving from Alpine at the end of this year.

It is indeed a move that surprised many with his current team currently further up the standings than Aston, but it is clear that he was convinced by the ambition of the Silverstone team.

Fernando, a driver who could be well into his forties by the time he leaves F1, shows no signs of slowing down and, indeed, Alesi believes he can still win in the sport, while also paying tribute to longevity of the Spaniard when he recalled an early memory of Fernando in 2001 – his debut year:

“I’ll tell you a story,” Alesi told Give Me Sport.

“I was in Hockenheim and when we had the long track it wasn’t the Hockenheim we have now. We had those long straights into the woods, so of course we had the stadium part with all the audience and then you were in the woods for a long time without an audience.

“So He Was Next To Me” [on the drivers’ parade] and suddenly at the end of the forest there was a fan with a sign that read ‘Happy Birthday Fernando.’ And so I turned to him and said, “Fernando, is it your birthday?” And I ask him how old he is and he says ’20 years old!’ So that’s my memory of him and to see the career he’s had, it’s just amazing. What a fighter, I mean this guy when you see drivers like him, you’re happy to pay the fine.”

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY – JULY 29: Fernando Alonso of Spain drives the (14) Alpine F1 A522 Renault on track during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Hungary at Hungaroring on July 29, 2022 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

READ MORE: Jean Alesi on the Piastri/Ricciardo saga

There is every chance that fans will be able to see Fernando drive for at least another three years after this season, provided he and Aston meet certain targets, and Alesi believes the team’s ambition brought in Alonso:

“I understand that there is a new investor in Aston Martin and they are very ambitious. The ambition is very high. So I hope he made a good move this time because sometimes he has made mistakes in his life. But a career closing with a good move would be a really good story for all of us.”

The big question, however, is whether Fernando can win titles at Aston? Alesi believes he can do it, although it probably won’t happen as early as next year:

“Absolutely. We can’t talk about talent because we know he has it. What we can say is he can fight the young drivers physically all season? I have to say yes, the cars are very demanding in terms of of G-force, but Fernando never stopped [driving]. When he wasn’t in Formula 1, he drove sports cars and he’s always in a car, so I’m sure he can [compete.] But to win a world championship now for a team like Aston, I don’t believe it will happen next year [at least.]”

LE CASTELLET, FRANCE – JULY 21: Fernando Alonso of Spain and Alpine F1 talk in the Drivers Press Conference during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of France at Circuit Paul Ricard on July 21, 2022 in Le Castellet, France. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

However, it will be a fascinating chapter in Fernando’s career as he aims to deliver on the promise the Aston team is showing before his time in F1 is up – whenever that may be!

The 2022 Formula 1 World Championship will resume with the Belgian Grand Prix on August 26-28.

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