F1 News

Alonso already sees Verstappen and Red Bull as 2024 winners

Alonso: 'Verstappen is the champion, no crystal ball needed for that'

23 February at 17:22

Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing may not have finished first on the final day of the winter test in Bahrain, but it is clear to everyone that they are by far the fastest ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix. Fernando Alonso does not need a crystal ball to predict the outcome of the upcoming Formula 1 season, he said at the Bahrain International Circuit.

Alonso: 'Verstappen is the champion'

The two-time world champion is confident Red Bull Racing will again be one step ahead of the rest of the field, especially given the sweeping changes made to the RB20. Alonso calls the modifications to the Mercedes-like sidepods in particular "surprising".

Moreover, he already knows how to tell that Verstappen has his fourth world title pretty much in his pocket. He doesn't need a crystal ball for that, he stressed. However, that same crystal ball cannot yet tell him how Aston Martin's rivals are doing, but Alonso's team looked in good shape during the winter test.

Alonso: '19 drivers already know they won't be champions'

Asked about his expectations for the ranking this year, Alonso replied to Autosport.com: "I think Max is the world champion and Red Bull is dominating the sport. Also, the concept that they presented this year, it's also a surprise."

He added an ominous message for the rest of F1 drivers: "I think 19 drivers in the paddock now will think that [they] will not win the championship. It happens 99% of the time in your career. This is a brutal sport," Alonso said.