Fernando Alonso, despite his status as the sport’s most seasoned competitor, is convinced that there is room for him to improve his speed.
Having participated in 377 Formula 1 races, the highest tally in the sport’s history, Alonso’s unparalleled experience is unquestionable.
Yet, when many would ponder hanging up their helmets or slowing down, this Spaniard’s desire for competition remains as fierce as ever.
His series of podium finishes at the start of the previous season went a long way in quieting the doubters. Furthermore, his intense final lap showdown with Sergio Perez in Brazil showcased that the seasoned pro hasn’t diminished in his strategic acumen or his relentless pursuit of victory.
Nonetheless, the double-world champion acknowledges that he takes nothing for granted, recognizing that there is always more to learn and an incessant desire to improve.
“I’m constantly thinking about ways of getting faster behind the wheel and being a better driver,” he admits. “You re-watch some of the races that happened as well and maybe you see different lines, different strategies for all the teams, the drivers, so that curiosity, from the driver point of view, of getting better is always there.
“You never stop learning and you never stop getting better, so you have to be motivated to embrace those lessons.”
“To win in Formula 1 you have to be extremely focused… hyper-focused,” he continues. “To make a difference, you need to give that extra commitment, that extra determination.
“Hyper-focus is definitely the word if we want to succeed in Formula 1. Hyper-focus means total dedication to what you do, to be united now, to also send a message to everyone that we are here to work 24 hours, seven days a week, and be ready for the new season.
“Everyone is 100 percent,” he warns. “2023 was an incredible season, and 2024 is going to be even better.”
Mikey Brown, Alonso’s lead mechanic, spoke about the 42-year-old’s ‘impressive’ preparations towards the new campaign.
He stated: “For someone so experienced, to carry so much commitment coming into a new season, is pretty impressive, and also that filters down to all the guys who can see that,” he says.
“To come in and do two, three days doing the sim work, doing the training, looking at the new car, getting the seat fit done this early on before we go to Bahrain is pretty impressive.”