Fernando Alonso, Max Verstappen, Albert Park, 2023

Verstappen says Alonso deserves his long-awaited 33rd win – and more

2023 Australian Grand Prix

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Fernando Alonso deserves more wins than he’s had so far in his career, says championship leader Max Verstappen, who would like to see him take more.

Verstappen surpassed Alonso’s total of 32 career wins last year. His fellow two-times world champion is approaching the 10th anniversary of his last win in F1, which came at the Spanish Grand Prix in 2013.

However Alonso’s two podium finishes from the opening races of 2023 have fuelled expectations he may finally take his 33rd victory. If he does, Verstappen says it will be entirely deserved.

“I think Fernando should have won anyway already a lot more races than what he has done,” said Verstappen. “I think he deserves a lot more.

“I would be quite happy to see him win number 33. But I also, in a way, also I would like to see him win more. So we’ll see in the coming races.”

Several Spanish sportspeople have shown their support for Alonso’s pursuit of his 33rd win on social media. “It’s crazy to see how Spain is now so enthusiastic again for Formula 1 and for everything that is happening,” said the Aston Martin driver. “So this is very nice to see and hopefully I think they did enjoy these first two podiums the whole country.”

“This 33, I don’t know, all these things that are happening now in social media, it was ‘El Plan’ three years ago and then the mission and now ’33’ so there are a lot of 33s,” he added. “All the football clubs or footballers or tennis or whatever they are always doing something with 33. So hopefully we can reach that number in terms of wins and then we go for 34.”

Alonso expects F1’s visit to the Circuit de Catalunya near Barcelona for the eighth round of the championship in June will be “a big thing this year again.”

Verstappen began using 33 as his car number when he arrived in F1 eight years ago, but switched to number one last season following his world championship victory. “If he is still using number one I will ask [for] 33 next year,” Alonso joked.

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2023 Australian Grand Prix

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    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...

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    7 comments on “Verstappen says Alonso deserves his long-awaited 33rd win – and more”

    1. How gracious of Max. Will he pull over and wait a minute or two for Fred to take the flag on Sunday?

    2. It’s still ridiculous that Fernando Alonso is listed as the winner of the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.

      1. Well Schumacher is still listed as the ’94 world champion, and Alonso didn’t punt Piquet off the circuit himself… looks all fine to me.

        1. looks all fine to me.

          You may need (better) glasses.

        2. Comparing Schumacher’s action totally on his own to what Alonso was part of is like comparing an act of violence in the heat of the moment (still deserving a punishment) to a premeditated and well organized act of terrorism planned by the group of people which in many ways affects everyone around. Of course Alonso didn’t have a clue…

    3. He is not wrong about Alonso and his tally of victories. But I feel Alonso (politically) blocked himself from reaching more many times. Alonso 2.0 seems softer in that regard. Let’s see whether he can keep that up and serve as an example for Lewis. Wouldn’t it be great to see Lewis with a glass half full attitude, instead of what we as fans get now? He has every reason to walk tall everywhere given his achievements. Every time I visit this site he is quoted stating something negative or political vs competitors (I can’t remember Schumacher doing the same during his unsuccessful stint at Mercedes). I wish Lewis would return to focussing on what he needs to do; start winning again. Alonso showed a 2.0 version of a racing driver is a possibility (if he keeps it up).

    4. AllTheCoolNamesWereTaken
      30th March 2023, 14:23

      Alonso definitely shot himself in the foot more than once over the course of his career. In some of these cases (mainly the 2007 McLaren debacle and Crashgate), he didn’t exactly endear himself to fans of the sport, either. For this reason, I used to despise him – to the point where I actively rooted against him during the 2010 and 2012 seasons.

      But, since he returned to F1 after his two-year sabbatical, I have found myself warming up to him. There’s something about his skill and his determination – and the fact that he still possesses both to such a high degree despite his age, and despite everything he’s been through – which is hard not to admire. Plus, I guess one can only hold a grudge for so long. Crashgate was a long time ago, and these days, I genuinely want him to succeed. If he manages to win a race this year, I think I may actually shed a happy tear or two.

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