Despite featuring in final-round shootouts in three of the six seasons following his double championship successes in 2005 and ’06, Alonso failed to add a third title and has not been involved in an F1 title battle since falling short with Ferrari in 2012.
Following years spent in unreliable and slow machinery, Alonso has been a revitalised figure since landing a competitive drive again at Aston Martin and the two-time champion has been blown away by the remarkable improvement the British team has made.
“I think the Ferrari time was quite good as well. 2010, 2012, I think we had seven different winners in seven different races in 2012 and it was quite fun back then,” he acknowledged.
“Outside Formula 1 I had a great time in WEC and in Indy as well, but now it is just phenomenal what this team has done in the last winter. This car is so enjoyable to drive, so easy to drive, so fast and the whole team is a high-class team.
“Today for example is the first time that I went to the motorhome because we skipped Imola, and just to be in this motorhome and the room that I have, everything is just mind-blowing.”
Last Wednesday morning, it was announced that Aston Martin would be teaming up with Honda for the new engine regulations set to come into effect in F1 in 2026.
The alliance with the Japanese manufacturer ensures that Aston Martin will become a works entry, leaving Alonso highly enthused by the potential of the partnership.
“Very good news for the team, very excited,” he emphasised. “I think it shows the commitment of Aston Martin to really win races, win championships in the future, be independent – manufacturing their own gearboxes and everything on the car.
“It’s the only way probably to really be 100% sure that you are in control of everything in your package and in your car. It’s a great sign for everybody in Aston Martin that the desire and the potential to win is there.”
While team owner Lawrence Stroll brandished the deal as “the final piece of the jigsaw” for Aston Martin to realise its ambition of winning F1 World Championships, Alonso believes his current side has the capacity to be competing for the ultimate prize under the current rules set.
“Especially in 2026 when the new regulations will come, it is always better if you can develop your power unit together with the chassis and have everything integrated well in advance,” he added.
“Being a works team I think there are only benefits, but I think that doesn’t mean until 2026 that Aston Martin will not have a chance to win the championship.”
Alonso has been a regular fixture on the podium in 2023, but Red Bull’s domination has denied the Oviedo-born racer the chance to end his protracted win drought that has recently stretched into its 10th year.
Alonso looked set to achieve his first pole position in F1 since July 2012 on Saturday in Monaco until Max Verstappen produced an extraordinary final sector to usurp the Aston Martin by only 0.084s.
The reigning World Champion would prove untouchable in race trim, but Aston Martin disputably could have stolen the victory from Red Bull if the team had avoided pitting Alonso for another set of dry weather tyres the lap directly before the rain pelted down.
Next up on the F1 calendar is a return home for Alonso with the Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya – the scene of the veteran’s last F1 victory in 2013.