(L to R): Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes; Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin, Albert Park, 2023

Hamilton and Schumacher’s record seven titles “probably” out of reach – Alonso

2023 F1 season

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Fernando Alonso says equalling the record of most world championship victories is his ultimate aim in Formula 1, but concedes he is unlikely to achieve it.

The Aston Martin driver is the oldest competitor on the grid today and has started 358 races, which is a record. He is enjoying a renaissance in this late stage of his career, scoring three podium finishes in as many races since the season began, more than he managed over the previous eight years.

However he accepts the chance to equal the record seven titles won by Lewis Hamilton and Michael Schumacher has almost certainly passed him by.

“When you race for many years, obviously you start breaking records,” said Alonso in an interview for a sponsor. “But I think the only thing that matters is to win and to break the record of championships.

Alonso won his second world championship at 25
“At the moment that’s probably unreachable because seven of Michael and seven of Hamilton are out of the possibility. But that will be the aim ultimately.”

Alonso showed he had the potential to be the first driver to emulate Schumacher by winning seven titles earlier in his career. He won the two championships which followed Schumacher’s record-setting feat in 2005 and 2006, making Alonso a two-times champion by the age of 25.

Over the next six seasons Alonso went into the final round with the chance of clinching a third title on three occasions, but missed out each time. His successful start to life at Aston Martin has given his supporters hope he may finally compete for another championship, but he doesn’t expect that to happen in his first year at the team.

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“That’s the aim for sure,” he said. “But I think at the moment we have to keep the feet in the ground.

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin, Bahrain International Circuit, 2023
Bahrain podium was first of three in a row for Alonso
“The aim for the team is just to have a good season. They were struggling a lot in 2022. So I think we have to walk before [we] run. And I think this 2023 campaign is just about getting better, getting to know the car better, start a new project from day one. That’s where we are at the moment.

“Hopefully we will have more podiums. Hopefully we fight for race wins. But I think to fight for the championship, I think we need to, as I said, set the team a little bit before doing that.”

Alonso will turn 42 in July. He said he has already raced in F1 much longer than he originally expected he would and believes he will be able to continue competing for a few more seasons yet.

“When I started in Formula 1, my idea was to be [here] for seven or eight years,” he said. “Then I won the two championships and I thought, I will race maybe one or two more years, and then I will stop. So that was my idea.

“Now I find myself with the longest career ever in Formula 1 and I’m still fresh, I’m still motivated. I am still enjoying every single day. I wake up in the morning and I’m happy of what I’m doing. So there is a few more years I think more for for me and hopefully, with a title contender in the future.”

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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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40 comments on “Hamilton and Schumacher’s record seven titles “probably” out of reach – Alonso”

  1. The man is currently with a team that’s somewhere in the region of 1 sec a lap off the pace.

    I think there are probably more pressing concerns than him winning another five World Drivers Championships.

    In fact, there’s another driver currently on the grid that would appear, for all intents and purposes, much closer to a seventh title.

    1. That must be Hamilton then .. but without the fastest car that’s unlikely.

    2. That’s not really what he said though. He’s quite aware that 7 titles is not achievable now but that that was the ultimate goal. If things went a little differently here and there, who knows, he might have gotten pretty close. He certainly is more than talented enough.

      1. For instance if he went to Mercedes instead of Hamilton. He would be at 8 or 9 or even 10 now. Circumstances… still I don’t think he has anything to complain about looking at his career.

    3. I would say 2 drivers: both verstappen and hamilton are pretty close, and the one further behind has the better car atm, so balances out.

    4. Ah, seventh, I was assuming you were talking about breaking the record.

  2. A third title would obviously be to the delight of a lot of people, Alonso first. While I would absolutely love that, it really depends on how he would obtain it.

    If anything, seeing him cruising like Hamilton or Verstappen would be an absolute waste of talent (like it is for Lewis and Max). Alonso fights so well and I’m here to see it. I was sad in 2012 but it remains an absolute classic for me.

    So for me, yes, El Plan, more titles, as many titles as possible but not at every cost ?

    1. Couldn’t agree more. 2012 for me was still the greatest example of a driver driving an F1 car beyond its capabilities, the greatest achievement by a driver to not win the championship in a season (in my opinion)

      1. Agreed, but I’d put Alonso’s 2012 campaign at the same level as Senna’s in 1993 and Schumacher’s in 1996. Both of them won a few races with worse cars than 2012 Ferrari, Senna was 2nd, Schumacher was 3rd, I believe, but none of them got close to title the way Alonso did.

  3. Duh…

    Don’t get me wrong, I think Alonso is a better all around driver than Lewis or Schumi, but he doesn’t even have the best car yet. He’s need to drive into his 50s with competitive cars to get a shot at 7 or 8 WDCs.

    1. He won 1 of his titles by finishing 2nd or 3rd whole year long while the real winners took turn for 1st place costing them more points than just being 2nd or 3rd all the time. So he won that one as the third dog who got the bone in the end, the other 2 dogs being better bit fighting.

      The other one he won because of the lack of great drivers and failing cars. Being best of a mediocre field is no achievenent.

      1. I’m sorry – what?!

        In both years both Alonso and his title rival won 7 races each.

        I’ve heard 2005 be called a lot of things – but a mediocre field is new to me. The height of the manufacturer investment, a fairly consistent grid with multiple winners and future champions.

        1. 2005 will remain permanently tarnished by a rules-rewrite laser focused on removing the 6-times-World-Constructors-Champions from contention.

          1. I think you should re-evaluate your use of the word ‘tarnished’ @proesterchen. The rules didn’t directly benefit Renault and hampering a dominant team is nothing new, we’ve seen it recently and also in 1994 for example.

            Renault had the 6th biggest budget in 2005 and did the best job. Alonso was up against a strong, experienced and in his prime team-mate who had a stellar 2004.

            I get that you don’t particularly like Alonso and use most of these articles as an opportunity to vent that but 2005 and 2006 were seasons with great drives under huge pressure at a youn age and Alonso won fair and square. Limiting Ferrari’s outrageous and numerous advantages takes nothing away from Alonso’s achievements.

          2. I’m not saying Renault did a bad job. I’m saying their winning the WCC will forever mean less because the best team of the preceding decade was deliberately and with surgical precision removed from competition.

            My only gripe with Fernando Alonso is that he is still listed as the winner of the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.

          3. How do you feel about the 1994 championship? @proesterchen

          4. To me, the 1994 WCC is less egregious than the 2005 one because while Williams were robbed of their advantage because Ferrari couldn’t get on top of their own active suspension, they were not explicitly targetted with a set of rules that would preclude them from competing in 1994. (and were in fact handed the 1994 WCC by the FIA in the end)

          5. I’d argue the 1994 regs targeted Williams more than 2005 for Ferrari. Simply because Ferrari engineered the monopoly of tyre supply for themselves and then we’re surprised when they didn’t have the resource to turn it around. Williams on the other hand had the same opportunity as the other but had simply done a better job.

            In any event, there were 4 teams all on Michelins who spent more around that era who had ample opportunity to take advantage of Ferrari’s issues. Fundamentally, the winner takes it all, small caveats are just excuses and in 2006 the teams were both even again, despite Monza gate and the mass damper, and Alonso still prevailed.

          6. You are, of course, free to believe that 2005 was a case of “Ferrari having issues.”

            In reality, the FIA wrote a set of rules specifically to accentuate a pre-existing weakness in one of their suppliers’ products, hoping that said supplier would not be able to turn it around and improve their products in a previously irrelevant pocket of the performance envelope quickly enough to see any of their customers competing for the 2005 championships.

            Williams in 1994 wasn’t precluded from developing a proper conventional suspension, an area they had experience in as recently as a couple of years prior, and did indeed succeed in that well enough to take home the WCC.

            Ferrari in 2005 was just shafted by their supplier, who didn’t previously spend time and money on nonsense like making F1 slicks last beyond the length of a refuelling stint, being successfully targeted by the FIA with a regulation change that existed for one reason and one reason only, to keep Ferrari from winning another WCC.

      2. I think you might be thinking of Raikkonen 2003 where he only won 1 race to Schumacher’s 6 yet still had a shot at the title in the final round due to his extraordinary consistency throughout the campaign. Alonso was incredible in both 2005 and 2006. Try to watch those seasons again with an objective outlook. True the McLaren was arguably an outright faster car on average over 2005 but Alonso hardly walked it in as you suggest. No matter how one feels about Alonso, there’s no denying he’s an incredibly talented driver. The fact he’s still going is testament to that.

        1. If there’s anything to say in 2005 it’s that alonso had the best car, like you said mclaren was faster but it was so unreliable that renault was better: pretty fast, much faster than ferrari and it rarely broke down.

          in 2006 alonso had the best car the first half of the year and schumacher the 2nd half, reliability wise it was pretty even and certainly nowhere near enough to swing the title, I think schumacher lost more points with stuff in his control (driver mistakes), alonso made mistakes too but didn’t lose points out of those, sort of like verstappen in 2022, spinning 360, losing positions and still winning the race, that’s not the kind of race I would rate 10\10 but it eventually didn’t cost him points.

          1. Before you know who comes here, the lack of capital i is obviously a typo.

  4. He’d need to*

  5. The fun part is that he really believed it.

  6. Fernando has little chance of winning races or titles as things sit. RedBulls level of performance will continue to dominate.
    I wish it was different. Reality check

  7. I’m always a fan of Fernando when he’s in an optimistic mood! A third championship would be satisfying enough given what he’s suffered through. Domination for multiple years Hamilton/Verstappen style would just seem odd.

  8. I would definitely say that Alonso is the best F1 racer, irrespective of his attitude, his team, his car everything else.
    He is the best racer, ever raced in an F1 car.

  9. At this stage, feels like a joke even mentioning that. Even Fangio’s record seems out of reach, 46y is tough enough. IMO, if he truly wishes to make a lasting mark, he should keep pursuing the Triple Crown. Though, given his aura, it would suffice to just win another WDC, which would be remarkable on its own.

  10. Sergey Martyn
    12th April 2023, 18:09

    Yeah, spent too much time in McLaren GP2 truck…

  11. Jack Edward Caine
    12th April 2023, 19:39

    Ya think? Given how long it’s been for titles, My estimation is that he would have to compete just slightly below his 107th birthday to have a chance. As we all know Ecclestone is the “Monty Burns” of F1 Freddo has no chance at all unless he has enough money saved up to have himself cloned.

  12. I love him so much.

  13. Records in F1 have lost a lot of meaning over the years: the sport has gotten safer, the cars are much more reliable, the points system changes (+fast laps/+ sprint) and length of season give more opportunity to win a championship, drivers have come into the sport at a younger age.. not to mention the many instances of interference from the officials, especially during the Mosley + Ecclestone rule. Each championship seems unique in its own right, the ones that stand out to me are the hard fought ones and I value one of those more than half a dozen of easy championships because of a #1 and #2 driver team structure.

    1. Indeed, walkovers are not interesting at all and empty imo, if we need to look back till 2010 the only ones I find remotely interesting are 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016 only cause there was rosberg, competition between different cars was terrible, 2017, 2018, 2021, 2022, which is still a good number and more than I expected.

  14. José Lopes da Silva
    12th April 2023, 20:41

    No… Alonso said that reaching eight tiles is the ultimate aim – for every F1 driver, that is. Not necessarily for him.
    It’s nice for drivers to openly discuss these things. We would assume that every driver, in his dreams, would like to reach 8 titles. Hamilton surely is working to surpass Schumacher.

    Although Verstappen, for instance, is giving hints that he is not happy with the amount of work that the sport is demanding from him and is likely to quit even if he does not win every title from here to 2028 (he would reach 8 titles then).

  15. Love you Fernando but you ain’t got a rats ass of a chance to get to seven titles. Unless you’ve got 300-400 more races left.

  16. I think he’s speaking generically, out of reach for anyone, but then again it’s not entirely clear. Realistically his best chances were at Ferrari. I still find it baffling he was unable to pass Petrov in 2010. Is he faster driver now?

    1. Something that was overlooked is that it wasn’t enough to pass petrov, he had to at least pass the car ahead too.

  17. While it is admirable to have this ambition, it is also a bit unrealistic since it is a rare ‘all stars must be aligned’ number.

  18. Sweet summer child.

    Or, the king of all trolls.

  19. meh, at the end of 2013 the same would be said when it was only Michael Schumacher that had 7 titles. then Mercedes had a car that was considerably quicker than everything else on the grid for 8 years straight, and from that, 1 guy managed to score more points for 6 of those years.

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