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Fernando Alonso, one step away from being a 'centennial' in F-1

In his debut with Aston Martin in Bahrain, he added his 99th podium finish, at the start of a season in which, finally, he once again aspires to everything.

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Fernando Alonso, one step away from being a 'centennial' in F-1

In his debut with Aston Martin in Bahrain, he added his 99th podium finish, at the start of a season in which, finally, he once again aspires to everything


Fernando Alonso and Aston Martin have not been slow to confirm that they are the perfect pairing for 2023, ratifying in their debut at the Bahrain Grand Prix all the expectations generated in the turns leading up to this Sunday's race. The illusion and the ability to dream were not exaggerations, the Asturian and his green car can look at the greats from face to face and even surpass them.

And it is that the Spaniard got on a podium -he was third- more than 15 months after his last drawer, in Qatar in the 2021 season, when he was running for Alpine. And, although the abandonment of Charles Leclerc 'helped', there were more merits of the Oviedo, thanks to a car that, finally, seems to be fast and reliable, enough to compete to be higher than expected. It was the 99th podium finish for the two-time Spanish champion, who is already looking forward to 'getting to 100'.

But, beyond that third place in its debut with the Silverstone team, the best news was that the team has managed to create a car with features that allow them to combine the usual muscle and reliability of Mercedes with subtlety and brilliance. of the Red Bull, who nevertheless seem to be light years away from the rest, which augurs another 'walk' for the Austrians in the new season.

When Alonso signed for Aston Martin, the British team was seventh, behind Alpine, his team at the time, and McLaren. But Aston Martin has gone right past those who were aiming to be its rivals for leading the 'middle class', flying in 'business' until landing in the elite. Now, his biggest challenge will be to stay and keep rubbing shoulders with some greats who have nothing to fear.

Faced with the problems of degradation and reliability that still haunt Ferrari, Red Bull's great opponent for the title, those from Silverstone offer speed, solidity and guarantee to their trusted driver in 2023: Fernando Alonso. The Asturian smiled again in Bahrain, euphoric in a celebration after his 99th podium in which he was seen happy again, in a course that, due to expectations and what was shown in Bahrain, invites us to dream of the centenary on the box.

On the Sakhir track, Alonso showed that with a good weapon he is capable of anything. "This is a very nice car to drive," said the Spaniard on his radio in the final stretch of the race. A few words that show that the Spaniard is once again enjoying Formula 1 and the first competitive car he has driven in the last 10 years. In fact, in the last decade, he has only celebrated three podium finishes.

In addition to the one harvested in Bahrain last Sunday, Fernando Alonso was second in Hungary in 2014, the last drawer with Ferrari; and after passing through McLaren with more pain than glory in a disastrous time, including a momentary withdrawal, he signed for Alpine, where he was third in the 2021 Qatar GP. illusion among a hobby that, like him, is confident that the 100th podium will soon fall.

The driver from Oviedo added the vast majority of his podiums between his years at Ferrari and Renault, with which he achieved his two world titles in 2005 and 2006 and with which he climbed to the drawer 41 times, 37 times in his first and successful stage, thanks to 17 victories, 15 seconds and 9 third places, while at the 'Scuderia he broke these records by achieving 44 podiums, with eleven victories, 18 seconds and 15 third places. Furthermore, in his first stint at McLaren in 2007 he managed to do so 12 times, with four first, four second and four third place.

One of those expected hundred podiums, he is the sixth driver in the entire history of Formula 1 who has finished in the top three most times in the race, although it seems impossible that he can reach and exceed the 191 drawers that the British currently boasts. Lewis Hamilton. The Englishman, the Germans Michael Schumacher (155) and Sebastian Vettel (122), the Frenchman Alain Prost (106) and the Finn Kimi Raikkonen (103) are the drivers who can boast more than a hundred podium finishes in the history of the F-1.

In the year in which he will turn 42, Alonso keeps his motivation intact, more than 19 years ago since his first podium in the 2003 Malaysian GP. Since then, and in his 20th season in the 'Gran Circo', he can boast of two world titles, 357 races disputed, 22 pole positions and 32 wins.

Some data that will thicken given the accurate performance of the Asturian and Aston Martin at the beginning of 2023, in which an atmosphere of belief and enthusiasm has been generated to reach victory number 33 in his career, since he does not go up to the first drawer since the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix, with Ferrari.