Alonso feels ‘strong and ready’ to fight Verstappen and Hamilton for 2022 title

RaceFans Round-up

Posted on

| Written by

In the round-up: Fernando Alonso says he is ready to fight Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen for the championship next year – if his car is quick enough.

In brief

Alonso ready for 2022 title fight

While Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi recently set a 100-race target for the team to become a competitive force in Formula 1 again Alonso says he is ready to fight next year if the team produces a front-running car for the new technical regulations.

“It’s difficult to predict what is going to happen in the next few years,” said Alonso, who finished third behind Hamilton and Verstappen on Sunday. “But I would love to be in the fight with them and whoever makes a good car next year.

“It’s a reset for everybody and it’s up to us to produce a fast car. It’s not like this year, which was a continuation of the last campaign. In 2022 everyone has the same cards so we need to play smarter and hopefully produce a fast car.

“If we are in that position I feel strong, I feel ready to take the battle and let’s see.”

Poor start squandered car’s pace – Vettel

Sebastian Vettel admitted he “could have started 18th” after losing seven places at the start of Sunday’s grand prix.

“I was a bit squeezed because Valtteri [Bottas] had a bad start and I had nowhere to go. Then there was a lot of dust, a lot of cars around me and I lost the car in turn one, trying to recover some of the positions and went to wide and lost basically all the positions.”

He recovered to score a point but team mate Lance Stroll used the AMR01’s strong race pace to score his best result of the season with sixth.

“The car was pretty quick,” said Vettel. “Once we had free air we were, I think, having the same pace on the softs than the cars in front.

“We came from 18th somehow back to P10 which is a reasonable recovery. We held off the AlphaTauri and overtook a McLaren. So it’s been a strong race but obviously just starting on the back foot hurts.”

Mercedes made gains without upgrades – Hamilton

Having won the last two races in a row, Lewis Hamilton said Mercedes’ improvement in form has come through set-up work, without introducing new parts to their car since July.

“As the year’s gone on we’ve understood the car more, we’ve definitely been able to squeeze more performance out of the package without bringing any upgrades,” he explained. “We’ve not had an upgrade since Silverstone, so it’s quite phenomenal to see the small bits, the increments that we’ve been improving.

Hamilton has cut championship rival Max Verstappen’s lead to eight points with two races remaining.

“It’s very close between the two cars, clearly, so I think that lines us up for a great battle,” he said. “But in these last two, I think we’ve just been able to do a better job overall. I hope that we can take this form into those next two.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Social media

Notable posts from Twitter, Instagram and more:

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Comment of the day

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner was right to apologise for his “rogue marshal” comment says @Gardenfella72:

It wasn’t right to criticise the flag marshal for doing his job correctly, paid or not.

If there’s an incident, there’s a flag. That’s how it should be. It’s the flag marshal’s job to decide when to put out a yellow flag.

I work as a volunteer at race events and have been at marshals’ briefings. They’re very much encouraged to err on the side of caution. It’s better to neutralise a session than lose a life.
@Gardenfella72

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Nina Wood and Karthikeyan!

On this day in motorsport

  • 40 years ago today Las Vegas race promoters announced a double-header F1 and CART Indycar Caesars Palace Grand Prix event, but the plan was later scuppered by the FIA

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

Posted on Categories RaceFans Round-upTags , , ,

Promoted content from around the web | Become a RaceFans Supporter to hide this ad and others

  • 51 comments on “Alonso feels ‘strong and ready’ to fight Verstappen and Hamilton for 2022 title”

    1. I mean, Alpine already make a great car, the A110. Alonso can get a 2022 model A110 and drive it to next year’s pub quiz championship or lawn darts or maybe spec karts and have a real chance. But unless they pull a Brawn on Merc and RBR, I don’t see Alpine challenging.

      Happy to be wrong though.

      1. I don’t expect nothing spectacular either, unfortunately, but it’s true that Renault has thrown a huge amount of resources and new personnel that the development of the 2020/21 cars never seen, so there may be a nice step up for the 2022 car (in abstract).

        1. But will still have a bad engine.

    2. Horner, I expect nothing from your comments and I’m still let down.

    3. COTD – spot on

      In terms of teams making “gains” this year, I’ll be greatly interested in seeing how the analysis of team budget expenditure turns out when they actually get around to the “investigations” of those in line with the regulations.

      It seems that some teams have put a fair amount of effort into “upgrades” (both major and minor) during the season so I’m wondering how close to being over budget some may be.

    4. I am surprised at Joe Pompliano’s tweet. Is the average age of such long-standing and globally popular tournaments such as NBA, NFL, MLB that high!!
      What do the youngsters watch then?

      Reply moderated
      1. Well… Formula 1, I guess. An average of 32 and what seems like a lot of aging fans would imply to me that there also are a lot of young fans.

      2. I dont buy this.

        The recent trend in the reduction of the average age has been attributed to the “Netflix effect”. While true to a certain extent, I am unsure how many people will actually sustain their interest. For example, various people in my office get really excited about DTS when it comes out, but none of them ever watch a race. So the term “fan”, may be quite a lose term.

        Can you consider someone a “fan” if all the do is watch DTS every year?

    5. Despite having a tough pre-season preparation campaign (with the cycling accident), Alonso has beaten his talented team-mate though it was the other way round in the initial races. That too, after being two years away from the sport and winning championships and big races in other motor racing disciplines. Just hope he is able to fight for championships again.

    6. What caught my eye was the Vegas Formula 1 – IndyCar event planning. This is something I always imagine. What if we could have something like that! Would be fun. Why did the FIA discourage it?

      1. That would be great but i think the dates were the problem here from what i heard anyway.

    7. Alonso just needs a car within 1/2 to 1/3rd of a second of a Merc or RB and his supreme talent will take care of the rest.

      His race craft and cunning are head and shoulders above anyone on the grid right now!

      1. He couldn’t better a rookie teammate.
        Alonso is good,but I’d still put my money on Lewis to beat Alonso again.especially because Lewis would outqualify Alonso most of the time,which would give him a big advantage in the races.
        And Lewis is alot better than he was in 07.

        1. Lewis hasn’t had competition for much of his time with Merc. He gets rattled when challenged as we see this year with Max.
          It would be close IMO.

      2. I agree with you, but there are also supreme drivers in the Mercedes and the Red Bull. So, he needs a good car – just what he said – to have a chance. The engine freeze is a real concern for that to happen, though. Very unfortunately.

    8. Alpine’s competitiveness will determine things.
      Alonso might be ready, but the team making a competitive enough car for a championship battle is another matter.

      QLF 30 min before race start, no thanks. Unnecessarily tight timing-wise.

      Boring race? Not a classic, but definitely better than I expected from the Losail circuit.
      Decent racing behind the top two.

      COTD: I agree in principle, but overcautiousness is possible, so if unsure, better double-check to avoid inadvertently putting out a wrong flag or anything.

    9. Is there a Spanish equivalent of the phrase “one swallow doesn’t make a summer”?

      1. someone or something
        23rd November 2021, 9:39

        Una golondrina no hace verano.

        But you’re misinterpreting what he means. He isn’t saying that Alpine will be a force to be reckoned with in 2022. In fact, he sounds completely agnostic with regards to that question. He’s just saying that he feels ready to perform at the highest level now. So, IF Alpine were to build a fast car (read: a car that’s on the same same level Mercedes & Red Bull are now), he thinks he could challenge Hamilton and Verstappen.

        1. Which is probably true, although I feel across the season verstappen performed significantly better than hamilton, alonso and hamilton still have the same age difference as they had in 2007, so maybe he could be up there with hamilton but lacking something against verstappen, everything being even.

    10. That escalated quickly.

    11. “It’s very close between the two cars” – classic Hamilton comment when he has an unbeatable car.

      1. We’re Merc unbeatable Mexico?

      2. On Sunday, before he stopped to get a set of soft tyres, Max was able to get two fastest laps ahead of Lewis’ own attempts. That was on the hard tyre one lap older than Lewis’ in a car that is less kind on the tyres. For what is at stake, is say that both drivers have everything they could to get that extra point.
        So I’d say that they are quite well matched, don’t you think?

        1. Learon
          Again this pseudoscience about fastest laps in a race. A car being faster in one or a couple of laps is like a picture of a race. The whole course and its aggregate is what matters.
          You should have know by now that Red Bull tends to be faster in mediums and Mercedes are usually better with the hards. The overall time delta between those two compounds is the most important thing regarding race pace. Fastest laps won’t make you win a race, neither is a proof that a car is the fastest.
          It’s not a coincidence that many biased commenters only notice fastest laps when those are scored by Max, only to find any excuse to say that Red Bull was faster, regardless of other circumstances. In Mexico, Red Bull was the fastest car by quite a margin, but Bottas set the FL taking away one point from Verstappen, and yet those “elightened” ones didn’t say a thing about it.

          Reply moderated
    12. IMHO Nando is a bit overoptimistic.

      1. well he’ll have to fight like a lion

        1. Lion on stheroids?

          1. Lion with pure defending skills.

            Reply moderated
      2. Sergey Martyn

        IMHO Nando is a bit overoptimistic.

        He would be overoptimistic if he had said that Alpine will be for sure as fast as Mercs and RBRs in 2022. This is not what he said. There’s a possibility for Alpine to be that fast, but for his part he feels ready to go against Lewis and Max. This is all.

        Reply moderated
    13. At times this season, Alonso has been very impressive.
      However, I would say that his current performance advantage over Ocon is not convincing enough to be sure that he is still among the very best.

      It is not fair to make a direct comparison but
      – Ocon seemed a little bit faster than Perez, yet less consistent.
      – Ocon was comprehensively outperformed by Ricciardo last season.

      There were valid excuses for Ocon in botch matchups and he seemed to be improving relative to Perez as well as Ric, so you cannot make a direct comparison, but still…Perez and Ric are both being smashed by their team mates this year.

      1. Perez and Ricciardo swapped teams this year too, so that’s not very fair, is it?

        Besides, that logic of comparing driver performance always ends up in a “paper-rock-scissors” circle because there are simply too many factors involved to just look at times and/or points to make assumptions.

        1. Postreader

          Besides, that logic of comparing driver performance always ends up in a “paper-rock-scissors” circle because there are simply too many factors involved to just look at times and/or points to make assumptions.

          Hulk beat Sainz, who beat Norris, who is beating Ricciardo who had beaten… wait, Hulkenberg!

          Reply moderated
        2. Of course the comparison is not fair. That is what I said when introducing the comparison.

          Nevertheless, based on recent results, I would be inclined to believe that Hamilton and Verstappen would fare better against Ocon than 40 year old Alonso is currently doing.

          If he wants a last shout at the title, I think he will need something that he has never had. The outright best car on the grid.

      2. Frank

        At times this season, Alonso has been very impressive.
        However, I would say that his current performance advantage over Ocon is not convincing enough to be sure that he is still among the very best.

        It’s not the advantage over Ocon along the whole season that suggests that Alonso is still capable of defeating Hamilton and Verstappen on a equal fight. It’s his consistency and ability to maximise points since Round 6 of this season, Baku (as soon as he started to adapt to his Alpine more quickly). Ocon had a significant amount of luck this season, his win being the most obvious example, and Alonso had poor luck in some rounds (Austria II blocking, Spa non-race, Sochi late shower, Turkey shoving off). Except for Spa, those were all big opportunites for Alonso to score nice points finishes. Even then he’s almost always there running competitive as long as the car can afford and ready to score, unlike any of the other midfield runners, even Gasly (who occasionally is there to score big points but sometimes disappear from the scene due to bad strategy).
        This is because Alonso has been very fast (most of the weekends after the beginning of the season) and his race strategies are always spot on. Only a more in-deep look will reveal those things, not just a lazy comparision with team-mates in the standings. A similar thing is Leclerc’s 2021 season. He has been outqualified by Sainz lately, but in the whole picture he was having very good drives more often than not. But Sainz has also been good, so despite the small difference between Ferrari drivers, none of them are underperforming. We know that because Ferrari is doing better than McLaren who was expected to trounce Ferrari not long ago. They always kept in touch with them even when they were significantly slower. The same logic we apply to Alpine against AlphaTauri, and we may conclude that both Alonso and Ocon are not underperforming, despite the difference between the two in the standings not being huge. Ocon had way more luck but luck alone cannot do things, so he has been good more often than not. But Alonso’s consistently good or amazing performances makes him a stand-out as he always had been.

        Reply moderated
    14. aside from his fluke gifted 3rd alonso is an ego driven maniac who needs to step aside and let the next generation of drivers enter.
      Its disgusting that alpine academy driver Oscar Piastri who might be the next Lewis Hamilton cant get a seat because a past his prime driver in his 40s is hording a seat due his massive political power at enstone and Renault going back from his WDC days when flavio was running things.

      Also I’m frankly sick of seeing the astroturfed worship like the 20k+ ‘upvoted’ posts on reddit for someone who has done nothing this season and achieved a mediocre 3rd place finish?! You can thank new F1 owners Liberty media who can harvest their media connections to spam fake viral F1 hype online everywhere.

      1. i think you need to take a chill pill. i dont think any driver currently in F1 is a “maniac”. ego-driven? sure, why not?

        also, his 3rd place was a fluke, but he did “fight like a lion” for Ocon’s win earlier this year. if it wasn’t for him, that wouldn’t have happened. Ricciardo’s win was also a fluke but i didn’t see you calling him a “maniac”

        1. @nickthegreek

          also, his 3rd place was a fluke, but he did “fight like a lion” for Ocon’s win earlier this year. if it wasn’t for him, that wouldn’t have happened. Ricciardo’s win was also a fluke but i didn’t see you calling him a “maniac”

          Yeah, those might be described as a “fluke”, but achieved way more on merit, not because of lucky Safety Cars or a bowling Bottas sweeping the competition.

          Reply moderated
        2. Disagree about ricciardo’s win being a fluke, I mean, he hasn’t performed as well in most races, but that was a well deserved win and probably would’ve happened even if verstappen hadn’t had the pit stop issue that culminated with him and hamilton retiring.

          1. @esploratore1

            Disagree about ricciardo’s win being a fluke, I mean, he hasn’t performed as well in most races, but that was a well deserved win and probably would’ve happened even if verstappen hadn’t had the pit stop issue that culminated with him and hamilton retiring.

            But if Hamilton hadn’t botched his start in the sprint race and also Verstappen starting slowly in the main race, as well as Bottas penalty, Ricciardo’s win and Norris second also wouldn’t have happened.
            This is not how we define “win on merit”. The definition must be if it was mostly due to rival’s mistakes or if it was more dependant on mechanical issues, accidents, etc. things beyond any drivers’ control. Or else only the expected order of always would be a result obtained “on merit”.
            So McLaren’s one-two was on merit, just like Alonso’s P3 (the only podium mostly on merit from the lower midfield), unlike Ocon’s win, plus Russell, Vettel and Gasly podiums. All those happened in races (Baku and Hungaroring) for which the order was completely shaken with external interventions, and of course there’s also the farcical Spa non-race.

            Reply moderated
      2. Alonso’s greatest move this season was cutting the corner on lap 1 and gaining 4 places which demonstrated that the rules make no sense. He brings a lot to F1 in terms of challenging the administration.

    15. @ccpbioweapon Based on the results Alonso deserves a place in F1. He is clear ahead of his team mate Ocon in the standings, which is remarkable considering Ocon won a race. I think results matter, not age. Only when Alonso shows signs of ‘wear’ like Raikkonen, I think it is time to step aside.

    16. I’m so glad that Beckham fella showed up to watch the race. I wish they showed more video of him instead of the pit stops and racing. We need more celebrities and less of the race.

      Said no one ever

      1. Be happy FOM is less obsessed with WAGS than US broadcasters. Then we would have celebrities as well as tedious slow zoom shots of random spouses and partners trying to mind their own business in the back of garage.

    17. “It’s very close between the two cars, clearly, so I think that lines us up for a great battle,” he said. “But in these last two, I think we’ve just been able to do a better job overall.

      He always fails to remeber that it was still close when they were not doing the better job overall. But of course, he’s currently in the over-optimistic phase, in which he thinks he’s entitled of every race line others don’t want to give up easily.
      Not even Red Bull getting the fastest car is needed, if it’s actually equal between the two teams, he automatically enters the pessimistic mode. Whilst he still feels entitled of it all like in the other state of mind, in this one he loses all hope in the future and feels like he’s gonna lose everything (but rarely it is his fault at all). We’ve seen it crystal clear in the Turkey race, even though Mercedes was actually a lot faster there. But as he failed big time to maximise his points, he blamed the team when he was the most one to blame for insisting in a poor strategy.
      His fans forget his not-so-bright moments, but real (not sycophant partisans) Formula 1 fans remember it all.

      Reply moderated
    18. Lewis Hamilton said Mercedes’ improvement in form has come through set-up work, without introducing new parts to their car since July

      So he is the only one who missed the brand new front wing he received (and not bottas) in Qatar.
      Lying toto becomes lying Lewis.

    19. Three more straight years of Mercedes winning after this season. Especially after the engine freeze. Then it will never be allowed to happen again. Ever. Mercedes will hold the ten year record forever. Mercedes will change name after being sold and leave the sport to not tarnish their brand. Then we may have a competition again. Until then.

    20. I believe the real change is not in the car.
      It has to do with Lewis being subpar after catching COVID19 since the end of 2020 till the last three races.

      It seems (as far as I believe) he suffered long Covid and only recuperated fully in the past month.

      So finally Hamilton is his old self again and from now and has been showing his past brilliance.
      It bodes ill for Verstappen in his quest for the 2021 Championship.

      1. CarlD

        It has to do with Lewis being subpar after catching COVID19 since the end of 2020 till the last three races.

        The long Covid had been making him put his car into the wall sometimes this season? Could it have impaired his vision a little? How did it happen?

        Reply moderated

    Leave a Reply

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

    All comments are moderated. See the Comment Policy and FAQ for more.
    If the person you're replying to is a registered user you can notify them of your reply using '@username'.