Fernando Alonso is third in drivers’ championship heading into Monaco GP weekend; Alonso has picked up four podiums so far in 2023; Giancarlo Fisichella believes 41-year-old can win another title before retiring; watch the Monaco GP live on Sky Sports F1 this weekend
Last Updated: 22/05/23 5:01pm
Fernando Alonso has been tipped by former team-mate Giancarlo Fisichella to win a third world championship before he retires from Formula 1.
Alonso, 41, has catapulted back to competing at the front of the field after Aston Martin’s surprisingly impressive start to the 2023 season. He has picked up podiums in four of his opening five races for the team and sits third in the drivers’ championship.
This weekend’s Monaco GP may represent the first time Alonso can contest for a race victory this year, with the Monte Carlo street circuit’s unique characteristics potentially diminishing the strengths of the dominant Red Bull RB19 while at the same time masking the weaknesses of Aston Martin’s AMR23 car.
Fisichella, who was team-mate to Alonso when the Spaniard won his two world championships with Renault in 2005 and 2006, believes another title is possible now Alonso is back in a competitive car.
“I think Fernando, with a good car, can win another championship,” Fisichella told Sky Sports News.
“Fernando Alonso is getting older but getting quicker – I don’t know how he can do it! Fernando was my team-mate in 2005 and 2006. We won the drivers’ and constructors’ championships together for Renault. It was fantastic to work with him.
“I’m happy for him to be in this shape and scoring these podiums race after race.”
Alonso’s current contract with Aston Martin runs until the end of the 2024 season, at which point he will be 43 years old.
Fisichella drove for the Silverstone-based team in three separate stints during their previous iterations as Jordan and Force India.
And the Italian has been impressed by the rapid improvement which has seen Aston Martin jump from seventh in last season’s constructors’ championship to second behind Red Bull.
“This year they are really, really strong – the car is so good. Especially in race distance it looks like the best car with the degradation of the tyres,” he said.
“Aston Martin is an incredible team. They have grown up very quickly.”
Alonso: I can win a race this season
While Alonso’s podiums have almost been celebrated like victories, the early-season success has the two-time world champion thinking about adding to his 32 career wins.
His most recent F1 win came in 2013 with Ferrari at the Spanish GP, but speaking to Sky Sports F1 in Miami, Alonso made clear his ambitions to stand at the top of the podium again.
Asked by Martin Brundle whether he can “win a race or two” this season, Alonso replied: “I think so, yes.”
As to where that victory might come, Alonso continued: “I don’t know. We seem to have a car that is maybe not the fastest on the straights. We need to improve that, but we are very good on the corners.
“So I would say that the slowest speeds of the championship, let’s say Monaco, Budapest, Singapore.
“These kind of circuits, I think we put our main hopes at the moment.”
He added: “I think at the beginning of the year a podium was amazing.
“Now after four podiums we want obviously more and at least a second place.
“But, you know, the two Red Bulls they are always unbreakable, and they are always super-fast.
“It (the Red Bull) is stronger, it’s faster and the reliability has been always outstanding for them as well, finishing both cars in every race.
“If one day there is a crack there, if there is an opportunity, we need to make sure we are in that position and we’re still not making mistakes at any point in the weekend.”
Sky Sports F1’s live Monaco GP schedule
Thursday May 25
11.25am: F3 Practice
12.55pm: F2 Practice
2pm: Drivers’ Press Conference
Friday May 26
10.05am: F3 Qualifying
12pm: Monaco GP Practice One (session starts 12.30pm)
2.05pm: F2 Qualifying
3.45pm: Monaco GP Practice Two (session starts 4pm)
5.30pm: The F1 Show: Monaco
Saturday May 27
9.55am: F3 Sprint
11.15am: Monaco GP Practice Three (session starts 11.30am)
1.30pm: F2 Sprint
2:30pm: Monaco GP Qualifying build-up
3pm: Monaco GP Qualifying
4.45pm: Ted’s Qualifying Notebook
Sunday May 28
7.15am: F3 Feature Race
8.45am: F2 Feature Race
12.30pm: Grand Prix Sunday Monaco GP build-up
2pm: THE MONACO GRAND PRIX
4pm: Chequered Flag Monaco GP reaction
5pm: Ted’s Notebook
5.30pm: The 107th Indy 500
Formula 1 now heads to the streets of Monaco for the sixth Grand Prix of the 2023 season – watch all the action on Sky Sports F1 from May 26-28. Get Sky Sports