F1: Bahrain Grand Prix preview
When you subscribe we will use the information you provide to send you these newsletters.Sometimes they’ll include recommendations for other related newsletters or services we offer.Our Privacy Notice explains more about how we use your data, and your rights.You can unsubscribe at any time.
Fernando Alonso has launched an attack on the media coverage surrounding his impending Formula One comeback with Alpine, pointing out that he is only three years older than seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton. The experienced Spaniard is preparing to return to the grid at this weekend’s season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix after a two-year absence from the sport.
Alonso will line up alongside Esteban Ocon for Alpine, formerly known as Renault, who will be aiming to build on last season’s fifth-placed finish in the Constructors’ Championship standings.
The 39-year-old won two Drivers’ Championship titles with the French outfit in 2005 and 2006 to become, at the time, the youngest driver to claim F1’s top honour.
His record was swiftly surpassed by Hamilton in 2008 before Sebastian Vettel broke it again two years later.
Much of the fanfare around Alonso’s return has been centred around his age, with the veteran now the second oldest driver on the grid behind Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen.
He admitted at Thursday’s press conference that he is growing tired of the constant scrutiny, claiming that he has every chance of being successful while Hamilton is still dominating at 36 years of age.
JUST IN: Christian Horner ‘winced constantly’ while watching Drive to Survive
“So far I’m enjoying it, and I know the repeated question is my age and my comeback, but I’m a little bit surprised because I’m not that old,” said Alonso.
“The world champion and the guy dominating the sport is 35 or 36 or something. It’s not like I’m 20 years older or something to have the repeat question every time.”
Alonso has raced for Renault, McLaren, Ferrari and Minardi since making his F1 debut in 2001, before initially calling time on the sport at the end of the 2018 campaign in order to focus on achieving the fabled ‘Triple Crown’ of motorsport.
Having already won the Monaco Grand Prix and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, he remains one Indy 500 victory away from achieving the feat after failing to trouble the front runners in 2017 and 2020.
Although he has penned a two-year deal with Alpine ahead of the new F1 season, Alonso stressed that he will not be drawn into putting a timeframe on his second spell on the grid.
“I think Formula One, or the sport, does not accept the mathematics where you can plan things ahead,” he said.
“You are trying to make your journey as fun as possible and as enjoyable as possible. At the same time you are working hard to deliver the results and to get those dreams that you have in your head.
“So it’s no different for me, trying to make this comeback a good shot at trying to win races or trying to be as competitive as possible but not with a clear target or a clear time set on things.”
Alpine look set to be out of the championship picture once again this year, with Mercedes and Red Bull shaping up for another battle at the top.
Alonso revealed that he is hoping to steer the French hopefuls onto an upward trajectory, conceding that he is highly unlikely to add to his tally of Grand Prix victories this season.
“We all love to win, but there is only one that can do that every Sunday and at the end of the year only one can become champion, so that’s a very difficult target to set,” added Alonso.
“I will be happy and I will consider it a success if we grew up together, the team and myself, in the next coming years and we are a contender sooner than later.”
Source: Read Full Article