Fernando Alonso says Max Verstappen can break all Lewis Hamilton’s Formula 1 records but warned the Red Bull driver that he should not take anything for granted while taunting that life is too easy for the reigning World Champ at the moment.
Verstappen is the standout driver of the current generation, having dethroned Lewis Hamilton from his throne as The King of F1, winning tiles in 2021 and 2022, while he is firmly on his way, almost undisputed, on his way to a third title this year.
The 25-year-old Dutchman smashed just about every F1 record to this point, claiming just about all the ‘Youngest’ awards there are in the sport at the highest level, and is now gobbling up wins at an impressive rate, with 40 now on his resume thanks to his resounding victory at Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix.
But even before that, ahead of the weekend in Barcelona, speculation that Verstappen would win every remaining round floated through the paddock on a slow news day in Spain.
Their hero Alonso said of the Verstappen phenomenon: “Until the F1 regulations change in 2026, Red Bull will contend for the championships so there will be many chances for Max to win races. He is young, the calendar is longer than ever before, with 24 opportunities to win every year, so he can break the records along the way.
Alonso: Max cannot relax because things can change quickly
“When I won two championships I thought I would win a few more and have a lot of wins, so Max cannot relax because things can change quickly,” warned Alonso who knows a thing or two about things that “change quickly” during the course of his 22 years in F1.
Infamously now, he ditched Renault at the end of 2006, after winning back-to-back F1 titles with the French team for an ill-advised one-year move to McLaren, alongside Lewis Hamilton. History shows that it all turned out very badly that year, Alonso’s first derailment one could argue.
Before the Woking adventure, most would’ve bet Alonso winning far more F1 titles than the two in 20025 and 2006 with Renault, at least double the two he won the previous decade, had his decision-making process been more successful.
After that episode and a return to Renault, more was expected of the Spaniard when he moved to Ferrari, which all started off so well with a win in Bahrain 2010, his first race for the great Italian team.
Although it came close, it never got better. A return to McLaren was an even bigger disaster for Alonso, while his return – from a sabbatical – with Alpine was hardly stellar. But his shrewdest move to date it appears, to join Aston Martin bore fruit from day one. As a consequence, Alonso lies second, in the 2023 F1 World Championship points standings after six rounds, to runaway leader Verstappen.
Alonso: The car is the most important thing in F1
Speaking at IL PITSTOP an Aston Martin garage experience sponsored by Peroni Nastro Azzurro 0.0%, Alonso warned: “Things can change rapidly so I will not give up on the title until it is mathematically impossible.
“We have a low chance and we have to be realistic about that. Max is showing great performances and no weak points but we need to challenge him closer to see if he makes any mistakes because at the moment life is too easy for Max.
“We have a new generation of younger fans who didn’t see me stepping on the podium before. They probably thought you lose performance and ability with age and I was just a driver from the past. But eventually, they see the car.
“As we repeat many times but sometimes you need to prove it once again – the car – is the most important thing in F1, and they suddenly see you are a good driver. My popularity is on a high, and for Aston Martin and the sport in general, too, so we have to ride this wave,” declared Alonso, in the wake of the 363rd Grand Prix he contested last Sunday.