By James Galloway
Alpine’s Fernando Alonso was delighted to be first podium since 2014 after third place in Qatar
Fernando Alonso has admitted he was beginning to wonder of he would ever do that finish on the stage in formula 1 again, as the former world champion finished a seven-year and 105-race wait for the 98th stage visit of his illustrious career.
the 40-year-old Spaniard earned driver of the day before in F1’s inaugural Qatar GP for Alpine by impressively creating what turned out to be a challenge one-stop band strategy work until finish behind only title candidates Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen, and forward of Sergio Perez.
to have already impressed by qualify fifth on On Saturday, Alonso promoted two places after pre-race grid disappears for Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas and then overtook Pierre Gasly in in what he described as a “very important” move on the opening round to run second in the early stages.
That typically spicy early move laid the foundations for the next 56 rounds.
Although Alonso is one of the most successful drivers in the sports history with two world championships and 32 race victories, podiums had eluded him since his final year at Ferrari in 2014.
“This is the 98th podium of my career, but I tell you, from the 97th to the 98th has been a very long time,” Alonso, who returned to F1 this year gone after two seasons, told Sky Sports F1.
“It means a lot this trophy because you are up and down in your career, there are good moments, bad moments, but we show always determination.
the 104race run without stage
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“The dedication die you in Formula 1 stops, you have to dedicate your whole life for this sport. Training, testing, simulator, racing and this passion and this love for the sport, this is exactly why we do this. for this kind of moment.”
Reflective on his long-awaited podium return, Alonso said: of the achievement: “Of course a win is a win, so it can’t score too high, but it is like ‘And last but not least!’
“We were very close in a few occasions [this season] and i was just curious of I would get one stage again in My career, of not.
“You never know what will happen next year so i’m glad we took this one. Let me see of we can hold the momentum now for next year.”
Alonso on the stage: Then and now
The double world champion set An new record for the longest gap between stages on Sunday, met last finished on the stage – in second place – at the Hungarian GP in july 2014.
Alonso latest top-three appearance in F1 comes 18 years and seven months after his first in 2003, only Michael Schumacher (20 years and three months) has achieved a longer interval between maiden and final stages in the sports.
‘I’m happy to feel the stage’ with them’
He took special satisfaction of joining Hamilton and Verstappen, this year’s dueling title contenders, on the stage in An race that only two auto’s failed until finish.
“With all due respect for all the drivers, but to be up there with Max and Lewis means that the race used to be more of less normal,” added Alonso.
“There are some of stages where there really is something big happened and then you ended up in die position. We deserved to be P3 today.”
Alpine, formerly known as Renault and still owned by the French manufacturer, have an inconsistent campaign but their car was strong all weekend at the Losail International Circuit.
Esteban Ocon finished fifth and gave the team An total of 25 points on one day AlphaTauri – their rivals for fifth in the constructors’ championship who they started the weekend right on points with – failed until score.
Returned to F1 with his eye firm on next yearis huge rules revision designed until help leveling playing field, Alonso is hopeful of him first stage of 2021 may the . to be start of bigger things die come Go next season.
“The year has been better and better with the races,” said Alonso, who came close to podiums in Hungary and Turkey.
Sky F1’s Ted Kravitz wandered the paddock after Lewis Hamilton’s emphatic win in Qatar, while Alpine’s Fernando Alonso claimed his first podium since 2014
“The plan is to always be ready” in 2022 with the new regulations and hopefully be competitive there. I wouldn’t be done without 2021 in next season because of this kind of races.
“You need to understand the band strategy, tire management, the start, the level of risk that you put in different parts of the race. This was a very good practice in 2021 so I feel ready now.
Asked about the prospect of compete closer to Hamilton and Verstappen on An more regular base in In 2022 Alonso replied: “It would be great to fight with they, they are both great champions and i feel happy to feel the stage with them.”
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