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Fernando Alonso

Alonso boosted by podium return: I'm ready to join the title fight

Fernando Alonso reckons he is ready to challenge for the title again in 2022, after returning to the podium in Qatar.

Article
To news overview © RN365/Michael Potts

Alpine's Fernando Alonso believes that he's ready to take on the challenge of a title fight in 2022, having spent this season reacclimatising to Formula 1 after two seasons away from the sport.

Alonso became only the third driver over the age of 40 in the last 35 years to step onto a Formula 1 podium on Sunday in Qatar, as he held off Red Bull's charging Sergio Perez to claim third place via a canny one-stop strategy.

With Formula 1 heading into a huge regulations reset next season, Alonso reckons he's now sharp enough to partake in a title fight once more.

"Well, it's difficult to predict what is going to happen in the next few years," he told media, including RacingNews365.com, in Qatar.

"But yeah, I would love to be in the fight with them [Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen]. Whoever makes a good car next year... I think it's a reset for everybody and it's up to us to produce a fast car.

"It's not like this year, which was a continuation of the last campaign but, in 2022, everyone has the same cards, so we need to play smarter and hopefully produce a fast car. If we are in that position I feel strong, I feel ready to take the battle, and let's see."

Seven years away from the podium

With Alonso's last F1 podium coming at the 2014 Hungarian Grand Prix, Sunday's result at the Losail International Circuit spelled the end of a seven-year drought.

Alonso has been no stranger to the podium elsewhere as he raced in the World Endurance Championship with Toyota during his time away, but the return to an F1 podium was particularly sweet for the 2005 and 2006 World Champion.

"Your career sometimes goes up and down," added Alonso, reflecting on what he has achieved in the sport.

"I had wonderful moments two, three years ago winning Le Mans, winning the World Championship in Endurance, etc, but obviously coming back now in preparation for 2022, and the new rules, to have this podium now feels really nice."

Video: How F1 hybrid power systems work

The ERS is often mentioned in Formula 1, but what does it actually stand for? And how exactly does it work? In the video below, RacingNews365.com presents all you need to know about the hybrid system and how it plays an important role in modern-day F1.

RN365 News dossier F1 2021 Qatar Grand Prix

The latest news about the Qatar Grand Prix straight from the Losail International Circuit.

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