Fernando Alonso says he will deliver something “special” at Aston Martin, insisting he wouldn’t continue in Formula 1 if he didn’t think he wasn’t competing at his best.
Alonso has joined Aston Martin off the back of a two-year stint at Alpine. In 2022, he delivered a number of strong performances and suggested he was driving at his best-ever level despite a season hampered by reliability issues.
2023 marks the beginning of a new era for Alonso as he partners up with Lance Stroll at Aston Martin, and the Spaniard is optimistic about achieving the team’s long-term goals, committing himself to ‘two or three’ more years in the sport.
The 41-year-old said that he wouldn’t have agreed to continue if he didn’t believe he was still capable of performing at his peak, or if his new employers could close the gap to its competitors.
“No, I think I will not accept that and I will not continue if I don’t believe that we can have a chance,” he said.
“I don’t know if it’s one per cent chance or 10 per cent, but I will only continue because I believe that we will have a chance.
“Next year to close the gap that Aston Martin has I think it’s unrealistic, but we need to put the foundation we need, to put the baseline to future cars and to work better than the people around us.
“This is a very competitive environment, so to become a champion you need to deliver something special. I’m ready to deliver something special from my side and I expect the same from the team.”
Aston Martin struggled in 2022, finishing seventh in the Constructor’s Championship, but it is currently investing heavily in a new Silverstone factory as it aims to climb the pecking order in the coming seasons.
“Where I believe I can make a difference is when it comes to crucial moments in the races, experience, decisions or thinking about the strategy,” Alonso added.
“It’s not about the driving abilities, I think we all have high talent, driving cars fast. It is more about the head and how you control a few things.”
Alonso steps in for the retired Sebastian Vettel, but he wouldn’t be drawn on predicting his own long-term plans in F1.
“I think I would take it year by year,” he explained.
“I don’t know, [in 2021] I was maybe not 100%. If I do a few seasons like that, even if I perform from the outside okay but I don’t feel happy with myself, then maybe I stop.
“And  for example, I feel very proud. I will continue whatever the results are next year, because I know what I can give to the team. So, I don’t know, two to three years for sure.”
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