MARCH 14, 2023
Alonso confirms third F1 title target
Fernando Alonso insists his only real objective left in Formula 1 is a third drivers' world title.
The Spaniard, 41, has been charging for it ever since he left Renault at the age of 26 and subsequently raced for McLaren and Ferrari - before retiring at the end of three disappointing seasons for McLaren-Honda.
But Alonso returned with Renault-owned Alpine last year and is currently racing on a two-year deal at Aston Martin - where he stunned the F1 paddock with his 99th podium at the Bahrain season opener recently.
Some say it is obvious Alonso now wants his 100th podium, while others think the viral social media 'Mission 33' is a clear sign that his real goal for 2023 is an elusive 33rd career victory.
"100th podium? 33rd victory? I'm going for a world championship," Alonso insisted to France's Canal Plus.
McLaren driver Lando Norris thinks it's possible, declaring during a gaming live stream ahead of this weekend's Saudi Arabian GP: "He (Alonso) could be champion this year.
"Can you imagine?"
Indeed, Aston Martin's huge step forward for 2023 has been a surprise up and down pitlane.
"The entire rear part of the car comes from Mercedes," Mercedes' former strategy boss James Vowles, now team principal at Williams, told motorsport-total.com.
"So what they have done well is the aerodynamic development. But it's still hard for me to imagine Aston Martin being consistently in the top three teams."