At 41, Fernando Alonso is the star of the current 2023 Formula 1 season. Although Red Bull and Max Verstappen are leading the world championship, everyone is talking about the experienced Spaniard and the upswing of his Aston Martin team.
Ex-Formula 1 driver Pascal Wehrlein is also enthusiastic about what the two-time world champion is showing this year: “I find it very impressive what Alonso is doing in terms of performance,” said the 28-year-old, paying tribute to his former colleague.
Wehrlein shared the Formula 1 field with Alonso for two years in 2016 and 2017, while the Spaniard is in his 20th season and is the most experienced Formula 1 driver of all time. Since his first season in 2001, he has witnessed a whole range of different generations of cars, all of which had to be driven differently.
“But still it probably feels natural for him. It’s just amazing to be able to deliver this performance in so many different eras of cars – also at his age and also after a comeback,” said Wehrlein in a media round before the formula E-race in Berlin. “You can only take your hat off to that.”
But the German is also convinced that age does not protect against performance. At 28, he still has “many good years in motorsport” ahead of him, as he says. “Ten to 15 years is no problem at all. In ten years I’ll be 38, in 15 years 43. If I want to drive that long, then that’s no problem at all.”
Formula 1 only seems to be a marginal topic for him. Wehrlein is currently driving for Porsche in Formula E, where the home game in Berlin is taking place this weekend. The Sigmaringer is currently the overall leader and is therefore well on the way to a possible title.
“At the moment I feel very comfortable in Formula E,” he says. “And Le Mans would definitely be a race that I really want to drive in the future.”
And Formula 1? “I follow Formula 1 when it’s right, but I don’t adjust my calendar and my plans to it anymore,” said Wehrlein. “I’m following with interest as a fan.”
But there is no definitive rejection in the direction of the premier class: “For the short to medium-term future, the plans are clear, what comes after that is relatively open. Then I decide what I like.”