Fernando Alonso sees nuances of his youth in Max Verstappen’s quest for a first Formula 1 World Championship this year.
Alonso was 24 when he ended Michael Schumacher and Ferrari’s stranglehold on the category, bringing Renault to the 2005 title.
Today, 24-year-old Verstappen is in the ring with a seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes.
The Dutchman leads the standings with six points with six events to go in 2021.
“I was 24 and I was fighting for my first world championship against a seven-time world champion. Back then it was Michael, and now it’s Lewis, ”Alonso recalls.
“We had the full blue stand in Barcelona. And now we have plenty of oranges in Zandvoort.
“So there are a lot of similarities, I think about this year. “
Alonso praised Verstappen’s ability to handle pressure “better than others”, with the Red Bull star reiterating his relaxed approach to the high-stakes situation.
“I always do my best and I know the team is doing their best as well,” said Verstappen.
“If it’s got to be at the end of the year, first of all, I mean, of course that’s an incredible achievement. That’s what we work for, isn’t it?
“But even if we finished second, I think we would still have, you know, [had] a great season.
“And in the end, it’s not really going to change my life.
” I like what I do. And I think that is also very important. So for me, there isn’t much to worry about, really.
The Circuit of the Americas is hosting the 17th round of the F1 World Championship, the United States Grand Prix, from October 22-24.