Fernando Alonso says equalling the record of most world championship victories is his ultimate aim in Formula 1, but concedes he is unlikely to achieve it.
The Aston Martin driver is the oldest competitor on the grid today and has started 358 races, which is a record. He is enjoying a renaissance in this late stage of his career, scoring three podium finishes in as many races since the season began, more than he managed over the previous eight years.
However he accepts the chance to equal the record seven titles won by Lewis Hamilton and Michael Schumacher has almost certainly passed him by.
“When you race for many years, obviously you start breaking records,” said Alonso in an interview for a sponsor. “But I think the only thing that matters is to win and to break the record of championships.
“At the moment that’s probably unreachable because seven of Michael and seven of Hamilton are out of the possibility. But that will be the aim ultimately.”
Alonso showed he had the potential to be the first driver to emulate Schumacher by winning seven titles earlier in his career. He won the two championships which followed Schumacher’s record-setting feat in 2005 and 2006, making Alonso a two-times champion by the age of 25.
Over the next six seasons Alonso went into the final round with the chance of clinching a third title on three occasions, but missed out each time. His successful start to life at Aston Martin has given his supporters hope he may finally compete for another championship, but he doesn’t expect that to happen in his first year at the team.
“That’s the aim for sure,” he said. “But I think at the moment we have to keep the feet in the ground.
“The aim for the team is just to have a good season. They were struggling a lot in 2022. So I think we have to walk before [we] run. And I think this 2023 campaign is just about getting better, getting to know the car better, start a new project from day one. That’s where we are at the moment.
“Hopefully we will have more podiums. Hopefully we fight for race wins. But I think to fight for the championship, I think we need to, as I said, set the team a little bit before doing that.”
Alonso will turn 42 in July. He said he has already raced in F1 much longer than he originally expected he would and believes he will be able to continue competing for a few more seasons yet.
“When I started in Formula 1, my idea was to be [here] for seven or eight years,” he said. “Then I won the two championships and I thought, I will race maybe one or two more years, and then I will stop. So that was my idea.
“Now I find myself with the longest career ever in Formula 1 and I’m still fresh, I’m still motivated. I am still enjoying every single day. I wake up in the morning and I’m happy of what I’m doing. So there is a few more years I think more for for me and hopefully, with a title contender in the future.”
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