A rejuvenated Fernando Alonso declared 2023 to be the best season of his career, alongside 2012, after he finished seventh in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Sunday to claim fourth place in the drivers’ world championship.
The Aston Martin driver, who joined the team from Alpine this season, began the season with six podiums in the first eight races and, after a mid-season blip, added a further two before close of the campaign.
“It feels a bit unexpected and I would not have put any money on myself finishing fourth this season, so it is like a gift to finish ahead of the Ferraris and (McLaren's) Lando Norris!" said the 42-year-old.
He even claimed the season was better than the two years when he won the championship with Renault.
“Together with 2012, I consider this to be my best season ever and better than 2005 and 2006 for sure."
Alonso won the 2005 and 2006 seasons with Renault, and in 2012 - whilst with Ferrari - he finished runner up to Sebastian Vettel.
Alonso is under contract until the end of the 2024 season but Aston Martin have said they are keen to extend his deal. Certainly, the fit appears to work for both team and driver as they look forward to next season.
“The level of performance, the consistency... I am very happy with how I connected with this team with the car," said Alonso. “I am very excited for next season."