Max Verstappen: Fernando Alonso ‘deserves’ to be back at the front of the grid

Max Verstappen has expressed his desire to see Fernando Alonso return to the top of the Formula One grid.

Max Verstappen

After spending the most of his time in the midfield in recent years, Max Verstappen believes Fernando Alonso “deserves” to return to the front of the Formula One grid.

At the Qatar Grand Prix, Alonso earned his first podium in seven years, but he hasn’t won in Formula One since 2013.

His last significant title challenge was in 2012, and after joining McLaren in 2015 and returning to F1 with Alpine this year, he has been relegated to lower-paying positions.

“I would like to see him [Alonso] back at the front,” said Verstappen in an interview for sponsor CarNext.

“He really deserves it. He’s a two-time World Champion. It’s also really nice to talk to him and see how he thinks about situations.”

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Verstappen’s “really good” friendship with Alonso

At the Hungarian Grand Prix, Alonso half-joked with the media that he worked hard to keep Lewis Hamilton behind him so that he could support not only Alpine teammate Esteban Ocon, but also Verstappen.

Previous big technical rule changes have seen middle teams vault to the top of the sport, and the new 2022 F1 regulations might shake up the existing pecking order.

Verstappen claims that if he could compete with Alonso for race victories, their relationship would be “a different story,” but that they would still have a high degree of respect.

“At the moment, I have a really good friendship with Fernando,” said Verstappen. “When I was still go-karting, I really liked his style.

“He also [has] that ‘never give up’ [attitude] and is a real fighter. Unfortunately, in the last few years, he hasn’t been able to do that at the front, because he doesn’t have the car.

“But I like his attitude, he’s really on fire and [has the] drive and motivation at his age to still be there in Formula 1, wanting to be there for a longer time.

“He always wants to win, he always wants to do the best. For me, it’s really nice to see.”

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