Fernando Alonso has conceded he cannot see past an "unbreakable" Max Verstappen and Red Bull domination of F1 until new regulations are introduced in 2026.
The Milton Keynes-based outfit secured both championships last season in commanding style and has shown no signs of slowing down this campaign, with Verstappen and teammate Sergio Perez claiming each of the first three pole positions and victories.
Asked if he was eager to take on Verstappen in on-track combat, Alonso - who has taken podiums in all three races and was Red Bull's nearest challenger in the opening two rounds of the season - warned such a battle was a distance away.
"I am looking forward [to fighting Verstappen] because at the moment he is on the top of the game. He is driving better than everyone else, he has the fastest car, everything is perfect," Alonso told select media, including RacingNews365.com.
"So to beat that perfection, you need something really special and you need to see some weak points from Max. At the moment, you don't see it because he is in a comfortable position and he is extremely good so at the moment he seems unbreakable.
"It is good to challenge those kinds of guys and see if there is any weakness in Max. That curiosity is growing because he is doing better and better every time.
"I would love to challenge him. At the moment, we are still missing a bit of speed there."
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Alonso has joined Aston Martin midway through the Silverstone-based team's five-year plan to challenge for championship glory, though his incredible start to the new term has come a year earlier than expected.
Whilst his dream of securing a third World Championship remains, Alonso refuses to look past a Red Bull monopoly over the sport until new power unit regulations arrive in 2026.
"If I am outside the sport and I have to bet on the championship, I would bet on them [Red Bull]," he explained.
"If I had to bet on '24 and '25, until the regulations change, I would bet on Red Bull to win. It is like Mercedes - until a change came to the sport, they were dominating. It happens always like this in the sport's history.
"When [there was] the blown exhaust, Red Bull was dominating. In the hybrid era, Mercedes was dominating. Now with this ground effect, it is very difficult to see a change once they started and they have the advantage.
"As an Aston Martin driver and competitor, I will hope they don't win in '24 and '25, but they have a good advantage, a very strong team, so it will be a challenge for everyone to catch Red Bull."
Balve Bains is joined by RacingNews365.com Editorial Director Dieter Rencken and Asia Correspondent Michael Butterworth to dissect the key talking points from the last week in F1.