SportF1Alonso does not feel the pressure of youth: he...

Alonso does not feel the pressure of youth: he will continue "two or three years"

The two-time Formula 1 world champion is contesting the second season of his third spell at the Enstone team, with which he won his two titles in 2005 and 2006.

After taking a podium finish in Qatar in 2021 and helping team-mate Esteban Ocon to his first win in Hungary last year by fending off Lewis Hamilton, Alonso agreed to a one-year contract extension to continue at Alpine in 2022 after having initially signed a one-season deal.

The Spaniard competed in the Dakar Rally, as well as chasing the prestigious triple crown by winning the Le Mans 24 Hours twice and contending for victory at his first attempt at the Indianapolis 500 .

But Fernando Alonso – who, as the oldest driver on the grid, will be 41 years old at the end of his current contract – acknowledged that he would continue in the top category for a couple more seasons.

Asked by if he felt any pressure to step aside at Alpine and allow the promotion of reserve driver Oscar Piastri , 23, an F3 and F2 champion, Alonso said: “No. Obviously, if I were 25 years, we wouldn’t talk about it.”

“It’s an age thing, that people try to find a way for young talent. But I think it’s about performance.”

“Last year, I think I did well [10th with 81 points]. I finished slightly ahead of Esteban [11th with 74 points]. Let’s see how the battle unfolds this year.”

“It’s about performance, not age.”

“As I said at the beginning of the year, I still feel competitive and fast and I feel like I am enjoying this stage in Formula 1.

“So I’ll be racing, I guess, a couple more years, two or three more years.”

Fernando Alonso, Alpine took the Supercar of Thomas Randle

Alonso added that negotiations are likely to start in the summer, while hinting that Piastri – who is also part of McLaren ‘s reserve driver pool alongside Mercedes-signed Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries – could find a job elsewhere. .

And he continued: “If Piastri is with Alpine, it will be positive. If he is in another team, it will be positive too.”

“But we will find out and start talking about it probably in the summer.”

Ocon acknowledged that Alpine’s rigorous test program with Piastri could make him “probably the best-prepared reserve driver in history” in 2022 without contesting a championship after being crowned in Formula 2.

Alonso referred to the young Australian thus: “He is a good boy and very talented.”

“He has won all the lower categories so far, which obviously shows that he is talented and very professional and hard-working in the simulator and in the factory.”

“He’s still very young. And hopefully he’ll find a seat soon.”

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