Fernando Alonso says he is “ready to deliver something special” when he joins Aston Martin next season.
Alonso, who retired from his last race with Alpine on Sunday, hopes his status as F1’s most experienced driver can guide his new team to good results.
Alonso said: “I believe I can make a difference when it comes to crucial moments in races or experiences.
“We all have a great talent for driving fast cars; it’s more about the head and controlling certain things.”
The 41-year-old Spaniard says he has completed his two years at Alpine having returned to career-best form, following his two-year absence from F1 in 2019 and 2020 in other categories.
“The last races [of the season]like Mexico or Austin or Brazil, I think I’m closer to the level of 2012 or 2010 or whatever than last year when I wasn’t in control,” Alonso said.
“Last year I wasn’t 100 per cent confident with the car or my comeback. It was good, the season, but this year I’m a lot more in the know and a lot more proud of how it’s been. ‘has passed.”
Ending his alpine career with a retirement in Abu Dhabi was a somewhat fitting conclusion to a season marred by poor reliability, costing him between 50 and 60 points and denying him the chance to finish the championship as the top rider in out of the top three. teams.
He said his position in the championship this year was irrelevant to him.
“What I feel inside is important,” he said. And even if I score good points and finish well in the standings, maybe I didn’t have the best feelings. This year, even if I don’t score any points, I know that I move on to next year and a new project knowing that I am 100% in the sport again.”
Alonso makes his first tests for Aston Martin in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday as he joins Alpine on a new contract that will last at least two years.
And he believes he can bring success to a team that finished seventh in the constructors’ championship this year.
“I’m only continuing because I think we’ll have a chance,” Alonso said. “Closing the gap next year is not realistic, but we have to lay the foundations for future cars and work better than the people around us.
“It’s a very competitive environment and to become a champion you have to deliver something special. I’m ready to deliver something special from my side and I expect the same from them.”
Alonso last won a race in 2013 and clinched the second of his two titles in 2006. But he said he continued to believe he could climb to the top of the sport again.
“At the end of the day, winning the championship is what motivates me every day, so [I am] always think of the third Fernando Alonso ‘ready to deliver something special’ at Aston Martin it will be possible one day,” he said.
“Maybe not next year, but who knows in the future. And now with this Aston Martin project there are other things that appeal to me – trying to build the team not from zero but after this year they hope [to be] much better in the next seasons.
“They have a lot of new people in the squad, great talent, new facilities, so it looks like I’m joining that moment where we can unite something together and become world champions one day.
“I don’t know if I will drive that year in the car, but if not I hope I will still be in the organization in one way or another and always be proud of this championship.”
Alonso said he expected to continue in F1 for at least “two to three years”.
“I’m going to take it year after year,” Alonso said. “Last season [I was] maybe not 100%. If I do a few seasons like last year, even if I do well on the outside, but I don’t feel happy with myself, maybe I stop.
“And [if I drive like I did] this year for example, of which I am very proud, I will continue whatever the results next year because I know that whatever the results I can give to the team.”
But he said he had to adapt his preparation for F1 as he got older.
“I have to change a lot of things because the timing of my career now, the physical aspects, I have to change a few of my training routines, my travels, my events,” Alonso said.
“F1 is very demanding on energy, off-track as well. So maybe I have to be more efficient in many things that I do on weekends or during the week. On a physical level, I have to do a lot more than what I used to do.” because I’m not 20 anymore.”