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Alonso ready to take future F1 title fight to Hamilton and Verstappen

Alonso ready to take future F1 title fight to Hamilton and Verstappen

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Fernando Alonso sees no reason why he cannot challenge Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen for future F1 titles after finally ending his seven-year podium drought at the weekend.

Alonso has produced a solid campaign on his return to F1 this season after a two-year sabbatical, scoring points in 14 of the 20 grands prix with Alpine, culminating in his third-place finish behind Hamilton and Verstappen in Qatar on Sunday.

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Now 40, the Spanish driver has often shown great racecraft, producing some fine overtaking manoeuvres and showing great defensive skills when required in a car that has effectively been the fifth or sixth quickest on the grid.

It has led many to suggest Alonso could again challenge for a third title if given the car, potentially as early as next year given the major overhaul to the aerodynamic regulations.

Imagining a future title fight with seven-time champion Hamilton and Red Bull driver Verstappen, who is going for his first this year, Alonso said: “Well, it’s difficult to predict what is going to happen in the next few years.

“But yeah, I would love to be in the fight with them, and whoever makes a good car next year, I think it’s a reset for everybody and it’s up to us to produce a fast car.

“It’s not like this year, which was a continuation of the last campaign, but in 2022 everyone has the same cards.

“So we need to play smarter and hopefully produce a fast car and if we are in that position, I feel strong, I feel ready to take the battle and let’s see.”

Alonso on “another level” over two halves of the season

In Qatar, Alonso delivered a superb performance on Saturday to qualify fifth before starting from third after penalties to Verstappen and MercedesValtteri Bottas.

The two-time champion then produced a stunning overtake around the outside of AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly early on to run second before making a one-stop strategy work to perfection to land third.

Assessing whether it was his best weekend of the season, he said: “Difficult to know. Probably as a weekend in general, it was the best because Friday, Saturday, Sunday, it was very consistent.

“Sochi [Russian GP], I think was quite well-executed as well. Only the rain at the end stopped us from the podium there.

“Yeah, I think the last part of this 2021 for sure it’s another level compared to the first part, so I’m happy with this comeback year and the preparation into next year is definitely another level now.”

A. F1

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November 25, 2021 at 05:07PM

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