Fernando Alonso turns 40 this Thursday and even Sebastian Vettel wanted to surprise him during the press conference prior to the 2021 Formula 1 Hungarian GP. But the truth is that the two-time F1 world champion arrives in full shape, after five consecutive races in the top 10 and after a sensational sprint race at Silverstone.
However, it is not entirely clear to Alonso how the A521 will perform at the Hungaroring buzzard this weekend in the battle for the middle of the table, where Alpine is currently fighting Aston Martin and AlphaTauri.
“I don’t know. Honestly, I’ve always had a feeling, a smell of what the weekend could be like in previous races. But this weekend, I’m a bit confused by Renault’s results last year here, also by the performance of some of our main competitors on this track, “he said.
“I think Ferrari, for example, will be very strong again this weekend. So the mid-table looks a bit more competitive this weekend. I think we’ll have to have a perfect weekend here in Budapest. If we want to score points, it will be more difficult than the last five races. “
How could it be otherwise and in the good atmosphere created since the beginning of the press conference, Vettel and Alonso were asked how they see the rivalry they have experienced in all these years in F1.
“I have enjoyed it, until today, the first race in which Fernando returned this year we had a bit of wheel to wheel and I was smiling in the cockpit because I am looking forward to more of that this year because I always enjoyed [luchando] with Fernando. He mentioned that he won here in 2003 and I was in front of the television and I remember when he won, “began the German, four-time world champion.
“I think his talent and skills on the track place him without a doubt as one of the greatest the category has ever seen. He did something that I thought was impossible to do which was beat Michael because when I grew up it was like Michael He was number one and impossible to beat and Fernando started to beat him, so I think it is an achievement and obviously he has had a long career and in many different cars. I consider it a pleasure to race alongside him and fight with him on the track. “.
For its part, Alonso He added: “Similar comments, honestly, there is a lot of respect between us. We have fought a lot at times on the track and we have also fought for some championships, all of them fell from Seb’s side from 2010 to 2014, but still I think we show this respect. when we meet on the track. “
“It’s not just what you see on Sundays, there are a lot of things that happen on Fridays, Saturdays and I consider it a privilege to share the track with most of the guys here in F1, but especially with guys like Seb. It’s something who will accompany me or always accompany us. There are some names that accompany your career and Seb will be one of them. “
Additional information from Luke Smith