Alonso fears F1 schedule pressures will 'drain my battery'

© XPB 

Fernando Alonso may be the oldest Formula 1 driver on the grid, but no one doubts his continued energy and ability to compete at the top of motorsport - although he himself has identified what might make him call time on F1.

With 377 Grand Prix races under4 his betlt since his debut in the 2001 Australian Grand Prix, the4 2-year-old has confounded critics by his return to top form this year with a strong of podiums in 2023.

Any suggestions that Alonso might retire have been firmly kicked into the long grass, but Alonso says that he's bound to run out of energy at some ponnt and says the crowded F1 schedule might be the wuse.

This year saw a record 22 races over the source of the season, and next year the number is scheduled to rise to 24. In the process there will be more back-0to-back and even triple header weekends to encompass them all.

It's this that Alonso says he found the biggest drain over the course of his first season with Aston Martin - a view also shared by many, much younger drivers.

"I said many times even before 2018, the day that I will stop racing is not because I feel not motivated for driving or I feel slow," he told the media recently.

"If I feel slow one day, I think it will be noticeable and think I will not be happy with my performance and I will be the first one to raise my hand and say 'this is time'," he continued.

"But I don't think that time will arrive," he insisted. "Honestly, in terms of feeling slow, I have extreme self-confidence in my performance.

"To be competitive, to feel the speed again, and to arrive to the weekend again knowing that you need to do everything perfect because there is a podium possibility or a race win possibility.

Fernando Alonso (ESP) Aston Martin F1 Team. 05.11.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 21, Brazilian Grand Prix, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Race Day. -, EMail: © Copyright: Batchelor / XPB Images

"That really gives you a very different approach, and a very different love for the things you do and dedications.

"But it could be that with the calendar and with the demanding schedule that one day I will feel it's time, because there are other things in life.

"It's been a very demanding season with only 22 races, with two cancellations," he said. "Next year with the proper calendar, we have to see how it feels."

This year was meant to be 24 races with the addition of Las Vegas to the schedule, but China was dropped because of ongoing concerns over COVID, and Imola was cancelled at the last minute because of heavy flooding.


The end of the schedule was still somewhat crowded with the US, Mexican and Brazilian GPs on successive weekends, and with a sting in the tale with Vegas and Abu Dhabi going back-to-back despite being on opposite sides of the world.

Next year will end with two triple headers with Qatar coming in between Vega and the season finale, just two weeks after the US/Mexico/Brazil sequence, and Alonso fears that this might simply be too much.

"I saw that it's a triple-header. I don't know why, I thought that Vegas was alone next year," he mused. "It's three races together. These kinds of things will drain my battery, not driving."

Teams are hoping to change the final triple header arrangement before the 2024 calendar is finalised, especially given the toll that soaring temperatures in Qatar took on drivers this year.

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