Ex-Ferrari driver backs Fernando Alonso to succeed at Aston Martin after shock switch

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Former Formula 1 driver Jean Alesi backs Fernando Alonso to still challenge for an F1 title at Aston Martin.

With Sebastian Vettel's unexpected retirement from F1 at the end of this season, Aston Martin confirmed that Alonso would be leaving Alpine and joining them for the 2023 season onwards.

Despite being 41-years-old, Alonso is showing no signs of slowing down, and Alesi believes if the Aston Martin car is good enough, then the Spanish two-time F1 champion can still be successful in the pinnacle of motorsport.

Fernando Alonso,alpine,f1,formula 1,formula one
Fernando Alonso

A fighter

Alesi recalled an example of Alonso's longevity in the sport in an interview with Give Me Sport, "I'll tell you a story," Alesi said.

"I was in Hockenheim (2001), and at the time, we had the long circuit; it was not the Hockenheim we have now. We had these long straights going into the forest, so, of course, we had the stadium section with all the public and then for a long time, you were in the forest with no public.

"So, he was next to me [on the drivers' parade] and suddenly at the end of the forest was one fan with a sign saying 'Happy Birthday Fernando.' And so I turned to him and said, 'Fernando, is it your birthday?' And I ask him how old he is and he says '20-years-old!'

"So that is my memory of him, and to see the career he has had, it's just amazing. What a fighter. I mean this guy, when you see drivers like him, you're happy to pay the ticket."

Fernando Alonso,alpine,f1,formula 1,formula one
Fernando Alonso
Getty Images Lars Baron

Showing ambition

The 58-year-old Alesi, who raced at Tyrrell, Benetton, Sauber, Prost, Jordan and Ferrari, said what he thinks got Alonso interested in joining Aston Martin was that they clearly showed him they had big ambition.

"I understand there is a new investor in Aston Martin, and they are very ambitious. The ambition is very high," said Alesi.

"So, I hope he has made a good move this time because sometimes he has made some mistakes in his life. But to finish a career with a good move would be a very good story for all of us."

When asked, Alesi explained why he thinks Alonso can still win titles at Aston Martin.

"Absolutely. We cannot talk about talent because we know he has it," the former driver said.

"What we can say is can he handle physically the whole season fighting the young drivers? I have to say yes, the cars are very demanding in terms of G-force, but Fernando has never stopped [driving]. When he was not in F1, he was running sports cars, and he is always in a car, so I'm sure he can [compete.] But to win a world championship for a team like Aston now, I don't believe it will happen next year at least."

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