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Fernando Alonso

Webber curious to see if Alonso continues to 'defy the odds'

As well as looking forward to the arrival of several rookies in the field in the 2023 F1 season, Mark Webber is also interested to see how Fernando Alonso performs, with the Spaniard switching from Alpine to Aston Martin.

Alonso Aston Martin Abu Dhabi
To news overview © XPBimages

Mark Webber is curious to see if Fernando Alonso can continue to "defy the odds" in the 2023 F1 season.

Alonso was one of Webber's on-track rivals during his own Formula 1 career and, while the Australian retired from the sport at the end of 2013, Alonso has remained in the thick of the action.

After returning to the grid with Alpine in 2021 following a two-year hiatus, the Spaniard is now embarking on a new chapter with Aston Martin after signing a multi-year deal with the team.

As well as being keen to see how the latest rookies fare in 2023, Webber is also looking forward to watching what happens next for Alonso.

Can Alonso still 'defy the odds' in 2023?

"It's always good to see the rookies," Webber told Australian outlet Speedcafe, with Oscar Piastri, Logan Sargeant and Nyck de Vries arriving on the grid for the new season.

"Fresh blood coming in, it's good for the sport. But at the other end of the scale is seeing how Fernando goes.

"[It will be interesting to see] if he just continues to defy the odds of that level for his age, so that's a bit of sport to watch as well!"

Webber will also be watching to see if Mercedes can provide Lewis Hamilton with a strong car in 2023 following a difficult season for the team in 2022, something that the former Red Bull driver thinks could be "pivotal" for Hamilton's motivation.

Webber on 'honeymoon period' for new driver line-ups

Alonso's move to Aston Martin to replace the retiring Sebastian Vettel seemed to trigger moves in the driver market, meaning that the line-up at several teams in the paddock will look different in 2023.

However, Webber thinks that the novelty factor of this will soon wear off.

"There's going to be lots of fresh driver line-ups," he explained.

"I think that honeymoon period is over pretty quick. We've got the testing and new guys [at their new] teams."

Webber is expecting much to remain the same in the wider pecking order.

"I think the top three will still be very strong," the nine-time race winner said.

"And then the rest, from four to seven, will be very tight."

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