SPORTS

Qatar GP: Fernando Alonso talks about the long awaited F1 podium return and why it ‘means so much’


“You have to dedicate your whole life to this sport. Training, experiments, simulators, racing and this passion and this love for sports, that’s exactly why we do it. For this kind of moment”; Fernando Alonso now hopes to springboard for more regular debates for the Alpine in 2022

Last Updated: 21/11/21 9:53 pm

Please use the Chrome browser for more accessible video players

Alpine’s Fernando Alonso is happy to have his first podium since 2014 after finishing third in Qatar

Alpine’s Fernando Alonso is happy to have his first podium since 2014 after finishing third in Qatar

Fernando Alonso admits he began to think about whether he would end up on the Formula 1 podium again, as the former world champion ended a seven-year and 105-run wait for the 98th rostrum tour of his illustrious career.

The 40-year-old Spaniard earned the honor of being the driver of the day at the F1’s inaugural Qatar GP for the Alpine, creating impressive work that proved the work of a challenging one-stop tire strategy, surpassing only title contenders Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstapen ahead of Sergio Perez. .

Already fascinated to qualify for fifth place on Saturday, Alonso was promoted to two places after a pre-race grid drop for Worstapen and Valetri Botas, and then surpassed Pierre Gasley, which he described as a “very important” move to finish second in the opening lap. . Level.

That usually-initial step laid the foundation for the next 56 laps.

Although Alonso is one of the most successful drivers in the history of the sport, having won two world championships and 32 races, he has been avoided by podiums since his last year at Ferrari in 2014.

“It’s the 98th podium of my career but I’m telling you, the 97th to the 98th was a long time,” said Alonso, who returned to F1 this year after two seasons away. Sky Sports F1.

“This trophy means a lot because you are up and down your career, there are good moments, there are bad moments, but we always show determination.

The 104-run runs without a podium

Team (season) Horse racing The best results
Ferrari (2014) 8 4th
McLaren (2015-2018) 77 5th
Alpine (2021) 19 4th

“The dedication you put into Formula 1, you have to dedicate your whole life to this game. Training, experiments, simulators, racing and this passion and this love for sports, that’s why we do it. Moments for this kind of thing.”

Reflecting on his long-awaited podium return, Alonso said of the achievement: “Of course a win is a win, so it may not rank very high, but it is ‘finally!’

“We were very close on a few occasions [this season] And I was just wondering if I would get a podium again in my career.

“You never know what’s going to happen next year so I’m glad we took it. Let’s see if we can keep pace for next year.”

Alonso on stage: Then and now

The double world champion set a new record for the longest interval between podiums on Sunday, last time finishing on the rostrum – in second place – in July 2014 at the Hungarian GP.

Alonso’s last top-three appearance in F1 came after 18 years and seven months for the first time in 2003, with only Michael Schumacher (20 years and three months) having a long gap between the first and final podium in the sport.

‘I’m glad to be on stage with them’

He achieved special satisfaction by joining the podium in a race that saw Hamilton and Worstapen, this year’s doubles title contestants, fail to finish only two cars.

“With respect to all the drivers, but being there with Max and Lewis means the race was more or less normal,” Alonso added.

“There are a few podiums where something really big happened and then you came to that position. We deserve to be P3 today.”

The Alpine, formerly known as Renault and still owned by the French manufacturer, has endured an inconsistent campaign but their car has been strong on the Lossell International circuit all weekend.

Esteban Oaken was fifth, giving the team a total of 25 points in a single day as Alfatouri – their fifth-place rival in the Constructors’ Championship – with whom they started the weekend failed to score.

After returning to F1 with a firm focus on next year’s huge rule overhaul designed to help level the playing field, Alonso is optimistic his 2021 first podium could be the start of something even bigger next season.

“The year has gotten better and better with the race,” said Alonso, who came close to the stage in Hungary and Turkey.

Sky F1's Ted Kravitz revolves around Paddock after Lewis Hamilton's strong win in Qatar, while Alpine's Fernando Alonso claimed his first podium since 2014.

Please use the Chrome browser for more accessible video players

Sky F1’s Ted Kravitz revolves around Paddock after Lewis Hamilton’s strong win in Qatar, while Alpine’s Fernando Alonso claimed his first podium since 2014.

Sky F1’s Ted Kravitz revolves around Paddock after Lewis Hamilton’s strong win in Qatar, while Alpine’s Fernando Alonso claimed his first podium since 2014.

“The plan will always be ready with new regulations in 2022 and hopefully there will be competition. Except 2021, I will not be ready next season because of this kind of race.

“You need to understand the tire strategy, the tire management, the start, the level of risk that you put in different parts of the race. It’s been a very good practice in 2021 so I feel ready now.

When asked about the possibility of competing more regularly near Hamilton and Verstapen in 2022, Alonso replied: “It would be great to fight them, they are both great champions and I am glad to feel the podium with them.”





Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button