It has been over a decade since Spanish driver Fernando Alonso last won a Formula 1 Drivers’ Championship crown, but he isn’t ready to give up trying for another just yet.
The stylish Spaniard is a fan favourite and, despite not lifting F1 silverware since his last triumph back in 2006, he remains confident of finally ending that 11-year wait this upcoming season.
Alonso will be buoyed by the fact reigning champion Nico Rosberg has departed proceedings after announcing a shock retirement last year, following his title-winning race in November.
The now 35-year-old was a dominant force during the 2005 and 2006 campaigns, as he rallied to back-to-back F1 title successes during the height of his powers when representing Renault.
He now resides with McLaren-Honda and is seeking to add a third world crown to his list of honours from over 10 years ago.
The Oviedo-born steerer endured a frightening crash last season, when his car went sliding off the circuit in Australia and collided with the track’s barriers at a whopping 180mph. He luckily escaped without any serious injuries, somehow sustaining just a collapsed lung and some fractured ribs.
Alonso ready to challenge for title again
The determined Spaniard is confident he can start the next season strongly and finally start to make an impact on races across the globe in his car.
McLaren boss Zak Brown angered Alonso recently when suggesting that the team are unlikely to win many races next term.
The Spanish driver was quick to overlook the comments and confidently claimed he will remain positive in his bid to enjoy success across 2017.
“I read what Zak Brown said, but who knows?” Alonso declared. “I am keeping a positive attitude, preparing for the championship as intensely as ever, and I will do everything in my power,”
The double world champion won his first world title at the age of 24, which then made him the youngest ever Formula 1 Championship winner.
Hamilton the man to beat
However, times have changed throughout recent years and the circuit veteran now finds himself up against a hugely talented roster of steerers. British Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton is currently leading the way and is regarded as the heavy favourite in the F1 odds to win a fourth world title in 2017.
Meanwhile, if Alonso is going to taste success this year he will have to get the better of Red Bull’s deadly duo too.
Young starlet Max Verstappen became a sensation last season when making history as the youngest ever F1 circuit winner ever. His teammate Daniel Ricciardo is also a threat and boasted plenty of pace all across last year.
Retirement on the horizon?
Previously quizzed as to whether 2017 could be his last campaign on the track, Alonso was coy regarding retirement plans.
“We’ll see. We’ll go step by step,” he stated.
Alonso is a long-serving F1 driver and believes he still plenty to give in the sport which he has mastered in his impressive career. Still, he faces a tough task in ousting the younger, hungry competitors in the 2017 circuit.