Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel have many things in common between two of the most experienced drivers active in Formula 1.
They are world champions on more than one occasion, have more than 30 victories, discover a new team this year and have also won the Bahrain Grand Prix at least three times.
On the eve of this season’s first Grand Prix, the two veterans made no secret of their enthusiasm for the idea of relaunching their careers in mainstream motorsport.
This is especially the case with Alonso, who, after a somewhat miserable stay at McLaren where he was denied the podium, made a two-year hiatus to explore new routes on the IndyCar series in the US and in endurance tests. Not without some success.
“My passion is intact”
The Spaniard returns to F1 this year at Alpine (formerly Renault), the same organization that awarded him two world championships in 2005 and 2006.
He said at a press conference yesterday, “I will return to Formula 1, because my passion is still the same and I still feel the pleasure of racing. This team has great potential and I want to contribute to its success.”
“I haven’t set specific goals for the first year, but I definitely want to get good results as quickly as possible. Victory is always possible. The goal is not to be metaphorical.”
Alonso, who will celebrate his 40th birthday on July 29, has not reached the top of the podium since his unforgettable victory in front of his fans in May 2013 in Barcelona. It was in a Ferrari.
The main person involved said, “There has been a lot of talk about my age since I announced my return to Formula One.” I’m always amazed at how people react to this because I know I’m not too old. “
Alonso is the second oldest driver on the field behind Kimi Raikkonen, who turns 41 in October.
Look at Lewis [Hamilton]At 36 years old and still dominating his discipline, Alonso responded. I am not twenty years older than him. “
Vettel: My expectations are high
The speech is the same as for Vettel, another champion without knots and still feeling very excited to add a fifth World Championship to his record.
After six years at Ferrari, the German driver was appointed by the new Aston Martin Team, the former Racing Point, for the 2021 season.
“I’m still good at winning races and fighting for the championship. If my motivation isn’t too high, I wouldn’t be here to talk to you,” he told reporters.
“In Formula 1, the key to winning recipe is having a good car in your hands,” he said. If you accept this new challenge at Aston Martin, it is because this team is serious about their intentions. She had a good season finale last year. This is a good omen. All these factors make my expectations high. “
The slowest in Bahrain
However, the recent winter tests, which were reduced to just three days, were not fruitful for Vettel, who, among the titular pilots, completed the fewest laps (117) in Bahrain while achieving the slowest time.
The single seat in particular has had some mechanical problems.
“We wanted to have more time, but the important thing is that we can tame my new car, which is different from that.” [Ferrari] I drove last year.
“I’m not worried about the first race,” he concluded. The situation is the same for everyone. All drivers would have liked to have had the opportunity to drive longer before the start of the season. The real test is at the end of the week and especially on Sunday. “
Born July 29, 1981 in Oviedo, Spain
a hero In the world 2005 and 2006 on the steering wheel of a Renault
312 starts at F1
32 Victories (6H Rank all time)
22 Head positions
23 The best laps in the race
3 Bahrain Grand Prix wins 2005 (Renault), 2006 (Renault) and 2010 (Ferrari)
Born July 3, 1987 in Heppenheim, Germany
World champion in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 driving Red Bull
257 F1 starts
53 Victories (3H Rank all time)
57 Head positions
38 The best laps in the race
4 Bahrain Grand Prix wins in 2012 (Red Bull), 2013 (Red Bull), 2017 (Ferrari) and 2018 (Ferrari)
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