Fernando Alonso bizarrely claims 2023 was his ‘best season ever’ despite failing to win a race

The two-time F1 champion failed to win a race in 2023.

Fernando Alonso bizarrely claims 2023 was his ‘best season ever’ despite failing to win a race
F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi - Previews
Fernando Alonso won the F1 title in 2005 and 2006 and came very close in 2007, 2010 and 2012 (Photo: Getty)

Fernando Alonso has bizarrely claimed that 2023 was his ‘best season ever’ and even better than his two title-winning years.

The Formula One icon certainly enjoyed a great campaign this year – perhaps his best for a decade – as he returned to fighting at the front of the grid.

He stood on the podium eight times – the most of the non-Red Bull drivers – and though Aston Martin’s pace faltered in the second-half of the season, he did enough to finish fourth in the standings.

Sadly for the Spaniard, he was unable to end his 10-year long wait for a 33rd career victory but there’s every hope that if his team provides the right car he can win again in 2024.

But though he failed to taste victory, Alonso rates 2023 higher than his championship winning campaigns of 2005 and 2006, as well as 2007, 2010 and 2012 when he came very, very close to a third title.

‘I’ve said a few times already, I think it’ll have to go together with 2012,’ the 42-year-old said following last weekend’s season finale in Abu Dhabi.

‘I consider this my best season ever, better than 2005 and 2006 for sure, even if it was the championship years.

F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi
Alonso finished fourth in the standings this season – his best finish since 2013 (Photo: Getty)

‘I think the level of performance, consistency and extracting the maximum of the car, I was very happy with how I connect with the team and the car.

‘Just enough to finish P4 in the championship. A little bit unexpected, I would not put any money on Thursday on myself finishing fourth! But here we are, it’s like a gift to finish in front of the Ferraris and Lando [Norris]. We take it.’

Even in the twilight of his career, Alonso is still more than capable of racing at the front, and he no doubt harbors ambitions of winning a long-awaited third title.

2024 F1 Drivers' Championship winner odds:

Max Verstappen – 1/4

Lando Norris – 8/1

Lewis Hamilton – 14/1

Charles Leclerc – 14/1

Fernando Alonso – 20/1

Oscar Piastri – 20/1

George Russell – 20/1

Carlos Sainz – 20/1

Sergio Perez – 25/1

Odds courtesy of Grosvenor Sport

But it will be a tall order for Aston Martin to outperform rivals Mercedes, Ferrari and McLaren, not to mention Red Bull, with Max Verstappen the heavy favourite to win a fourth consecutive title.

But Alonso is optimistic, saying that now he is settled in at the team, he can go into next year with more confidence, adding: ‘It’s going to be a much better winter.

‘Once you get rid of the seat fitting, controls, accommodation of your wishes, putting a face and name to everybody in the team, that drains a lot of the energy already in the months of January and February.

‘I think next winter is going to be a little bit easier for everybody to transition from 2023 to 2024. High expectations as I said, it’s not anymore a surprise if we are on the podium.

‘We need to deliver that kind of performance next year and we’re ready for the challenge. I am excited, but I’m very tired from this year! I need a break before thinking of 2024.’

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