Time is not on Fernando Alonso’s side but the 41-year-old double Formula One world champion, preparing for a new adventure with Aston Martin, has not given up on adding to his tally of 32 grand prix wins.
The Spaniard recognized, however, that it was unlikely to happen in 2023.
Alonso has joined from Renault-owned Alpine on a multi-year contract — believed to be two years plus an option — and with his hunger undiminished.
“I do believe that there is a possibility,” the race winner for Renault, McLaren and Ferrari told reporters at the launch of the AMR23 car at the team’s Silverstone headquarters.
“I don’t think this year. I am honest on that, I have the feet on the ground.
“I cannot say to anyone that we will be fighting for victories this year. I will lie if I say that. But at the same time we want to have a good car to start with and to work and develop that car throughout the season.
“Maybe in the second part of the year we can get closer if there is an opportunity, there are changeable conditions. If the opportunity comes, we will not miss that opportunity.
“But at the beginning I expect some difficult races until we find where the car operates.”
No Formula One driver has ever acquired a race after making their 300th start. Alonso has done a record 355 and is the oldest current driver on the grid.
Alonso stated he struggled to get the car to his liking for the first five or six races at Alpine after his 2021 comeback from two years out and he would have only a day and half of testing in Bahrain before the season starts on March 5.
“I’m aware that I will not be 100% in Bahrain, not in Jeddah, maybe not in Australia,” he said.
Technical director Dan Fallows said 95% of the new car was different to last year’s and it was likely to be two thirds changed again by the end of the campaign.
Aston Martin’s Canadian billionaire team owner Lawrence Stroll, whose son Lance is Alonso’s team mate, said the team, who finished seventh overall last year, had doubled the headcount to more than 800 people.
A new factory, due to become operational in May, would be a game changer, he added.
“When I get excited about something I get very passionate,” added the owner. “And when I get very passionate, I win.
“We are looking forward to be fighting for world championships in the future.