JUNE 19, 2024

Verstappen will still win fourth title in 2024 says Alonso

Notwithstanding the apparent end of Red Bull's latest era of utter dominance, Max Verstappen should still race to his fourth consecutive world championship in 2024.

Max Verstappen, Canadian GP 2024
© Red Bull

That is the view of Formula 1 veteran and rival Fernando Alonso, who agrees with the assessment that Red Bull's rivals - notably McLaren and Ferrari - have made big strides towards the very front of the field.

There will be more race winners, the Spaniard said in an interview with EFE news agency ahead of his home grand prix in Barcelona this weekend.

McLaren is strong, Alonso, 42, added. "Ferrari seems to have the best car in many races.

But no, there is no longer a world championship (battle), he charged. "This will be Verstappen's fourth title.

With the total of 24 races all together, said Alonso, the least mistakes will be made by Verstappen and Red Bull.

Interestingly, though, Aston Martin driver Alonso actually doesn't see Verstappen as the biggest obstacle between himself and his elusive 33rd grand prix win and third title.

For sure, he agreed, when told that it is actually designer Adrian Newey who has held the key not only to Red Bull's recent dominance, but to Alonso's own struggle to add more wins and title to his tally.

In the years when I was at Ferrari, Red Bull was the great dominator with (Sebastian) Vettel and (Mark) Webber, said Alonso. "Either of them could win the races.

And in this era, the truth is that Verstappen is dominating everyone and Newey is largely to blame for this, yes, he smiled.

Newey is now departing Red Bull, and has been linked with big-money moves to other teams - including Aston Martin.

I like him very much, Alonso said, still referring to Newey. "He is a fierce rival who has helped all the teams he has been with to improve. To always look for a better version of ourselves.

Now that he is on the market, logically we would all want the chance. He is welcome to join us. But it looks like he is going to Ferrari, so we will have to see what he decides, he added.

For now, though, Aston Martin - whilst undoubtedly still rapidly developing the team under Lawrence Stroll's ownership - is in a performance dip.

He therefore has bad news for hopeful Spanish fans this weekend.

I suppose between eighth and twelfth, said Alonso when asked to predict where he will finish on Sunday. "That is our natural position this year.

But arriving at the home grand prix and saying you hope to finish tenth is not too good for enthusiasm, he smiled. So it's normal to dream of a little more, right?