Alonso says exactly what he thinks about Verstappen after blasting Szafnauer

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Max Verstappen and Fernando Alonso have a lot of mutual respect for one another (Image: Getty Images)
Max Verstappen and Fernando Alonso have a lot of mutual respect for one another (Image: Getty Images)

Fernando Alonso heaped praise on runaway Formula 1 triple champion-elect Max Verstappen and likes that he is a "normal person" despite his tremendous success.

Alonso has had plenty of team-mates over the course of his lengthy career, but never the Dutchman. He has though, of course, shared a garage with Verstappen's 2021 title rival Lewis Hamilton, which infamously did not end well.

The 42-year-old has a lot of time for Red Bull racer Verstappen who, rather like Alonso himself, is a divisive figure among F1 fans.

"I like Max. He's a driver who just comes Thursday to the circuit, dresses in a Red Bull uniform, races Saturday and Sunday and leaves the track, goes back home and is still racing on the sim or in GTs with his father or just enjoying motorsport in general but having a normal life," he told the BBC.

"Coming also from the Netherlands, [a country] with not much background of F1. He's still a very normal person, just loving motorsport, and he's very fast. I think his attitude and behaviour here in the circuit, he is very normal and I like these kinds of things."

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In the same interview, Alonso recalled his departure from Alpine last season, when he chose at the start of the summer break to announce his decision to leave for Aston Martin. It came after what he feels was a lengthy period of action regarding a proposed extension to his deal.

"I don't think I felt disrespected, but it is true it took longer than I thought when we started conversations," he explained. I think it was inAustraliaback in [April] 2022 about renewing the contract. It was just on a very slow pace, and it was not from my side.

"I was just ready and happy. The 2022 car was a fast car so I was also happy with the performance and the possibilities into the future." And he pointed the finger at his old team principal Otmar Szafnauer, who has just left that role having been axed by Alpine.

The Spaniard added: " It is the way they do things, or the way Otmar does things. Because after this year, he should be quiet. He should not talk at all. After the results of Aston Martin and the results he's achieving, he's still talking and still proud of the decision, which is incredible, amazing."

Those performances Alonso was comparing do paint the picture that he is much better off with his new team. Aston Martin sit third in the constructors' standings this season with 196 points – he scored 149 of them – while Alpine are down in sixth with just 57 so far.

Daniel Moxon

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