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Sergio Perez

Perez reveals surprising assessment over F1 longevity

Sergio Perez believes staying power in F1 is less about "physical limitation" and is more reliant on "motivation", with the Red Bull driver saying Fernando Alonso's longevity in the sport is something he has "huge respect" for.

Perez Alonso
To news overview © XPBimages

Sergio Perez has stated his opinion that the longer careers seen in modern-day F1 is less about "physical limitation" and more to do with "motivation" amid Fernando Alonso extending his Aston Martin stay into his mid-40s at the least.

Alonso, a winner of 32 grand prix and two F1 drivers' titles, began his career with Minardi in 2001, before a year on the sidelines as Renault test driver.

After returning to the grid in 2003, his time in F1 ran continuously until his first retirement at the end of the 2018 season.

He returned to racing full-time in 2021, with Alpine, and by the time his next contract with Aston Martin ends, it will be over 25 years since his F1 debut.

"I have a tremendous amount of respect for Fernando [Alonso]," the Red Bull driver told media including RacingNews365.

"Not because he can drive until he’s 45 or 50. It's the level of motivation that he has in the sport after so many years.

"I think drivers can go as long as they want - there is not a physical limitation, I think it's more to do with motivation."

Aston Martin, Alonso and Honda will be a 'great combination'

Perez says he has "huge respect" for Alonso, who has dedicated so much of his life to a championship you have to "give everything" to.

The F1 calendar has grown exponentially in recent years and is around 25 percent longer than when the Mexican driver made his debut, in 2011.

Compared with when Alonso first raced in the series 10 years prior, the schedule has increased by close to 33 percent.

"You know, there's so many races, Formula 1 really takes a lot out of your life. You give everything to the sport, and to do it for so long, it's something that I have huge respect for – for Fernando," the 34-year-old contended.

Perez, a six-time winner in F1, believes that when Honda teams up with Aston Martin and Alonso for the 2026 season, it will be a "great combination", despite the Japanese marque ending ties with Red Bull at the end of the current regulations cycle - which the car manufacturer has powered to successive F1 constructors' world titles.

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