Fernando Alonso believes it is only a matter of time before Aston Martin rules Formula One and he has not given up hope of winning a third world championship.
The 41-year-old Spaniard is set to embark on the latest chapter of his remarkable journey in the sport following his transfer from Alpine to Aston Martin for the British team’s third season back.
Aston Martin have so far flattered to deceive on their return to F1, finishing seventh of the grid’s 10 teams in both seasons.
However, under the leadership of its ambitious fashion billionaire owner Lawrence Stroll, Aston Martin are in the midst of building a new state-of-the art factory and wind tunnel, and has doubled its headcount from 400 to 800 staff in an aggressive bid to dominate the sport.
“I am very demanding in everything that I do and I expect a lot from people that I work with,” said Alonso at the team’s Silverstone launch on Monday.
“I give 100 per cent and I expect the same back, and since my first day at Aston Martin, I have felt exactly the same values from the people around me.
“We have Lawrence’s leadership. He has been very successful in his life and I have seen that there is no doubt that Formula One will not be different. He will succeed sooner or later.
“This team is not happy with fourth. This team is not happy with third. This team is not happy with second. And this is what I feel from everyone here. There are no celebrations until we win and and that is something that is very motivating.
“We have the investment, we have the facilities and we also have the talent so it is only a matter of time.”
Alonso, who has driven more races than any driver in F1 history, claimed the last of his back-to-back championships with Renault in 2006. It has been a decade since he won a grand prix.
But in his two-season spell with midfield team Alpine, following a sabbatical in 2018 and 2019, Alonso displayed flashes of his old brilliance in a run-of-the-mill machine.
And when asked if he still holds out hope of adding to his tally of 32 victories, and winning a third title, Alonso said: “I do believe that there is a possibility.
“I don’t think it will happen this year and I am honest on that. I have my feet on the ground and I cannot say to anyone we will be fighting for victories this year because I would be lying.
“There are no miracles in Formula One from one season to next. It has only been a few months since the last race in Abu Dhabi and there is a big gap to the top teams to recover.
“But if we have a good baseline car this year, we will have more possibilities to fight for wins and podiums next season. I trust this project.
“I know it is my last team that I will drive for, but we have this wonderful opportunity to work towards Aston Martin being in contention for championships in the future.
“If I am still driving then good, but if I am not driving I will be super-proud to have been part of this organisation if one day Aston Martin are dominating races and championships.”