Schumacher had a three-year hiatus after winning seven titles but couldn’t challenge for an eighth in a spell with Mercedes before retiring.

Alonso is a two-time champion who quit for the 2019 and 2020 seasons before returning with Alpine - he will be in the F1 2023 driver line-up with Aston Martin where he hopes to return to competing for the title.

Lewis Hamilton VS Fernando Alonso - THE RIVALRY! | F1 2022

"I returned to the sport without knowing how competitive I would be,” he told AS. 

“I remember Michael, who maybe didn't come back one hundred percent, and Kimi Raikkonen wasn't entirely motivated in the last two or three years. 

“I couldn't say for sure if I would be fast enough to get back to the highest level, but I'm happy with these two years. 

“This season I have seen myself practically one hundred percent and that gives me confidence, it is a good trend for the future. I will always be grateful to Alpine for this opportunity."

The 41-year-old is ninth in the F1 standings as he enters the F1 Sao Paulo Grand Prix: "I think after 2022, I will be immensely lucky next year. 

“I know there is a lot of talk from Mexico, there are five retirements due to engine problems but there are also four races in which I finished without a battery, or the car did not start at the start, or I lost a wheel in a pit-stop. They are problems almost in the middle of the races.

"I should be ahead of anyone else in the middle zone.

“We are similar to last year and McLaren has taken a step back, that's why we fight for fourth. Although if you don't fight for the title, the final position doesn't matter much.”

Alonso expects his new team to outperform Alpine next season: “This year is what it is, nobody at Aston Martin is looking much at the results. It's good to see improvements, but Aston Martin is not here to finish fourth, fifth or sixth in the constructors' championship, it's here to win the world championship and that's what we'll try to do in 2023 and 2024."

Alonso will test the Aston Martin on November 22: "It is important. Not so much in terms of performance, because the car will be very different next year for everyone. 

“But as for being comfortable, the steering wheel, the buttons, the seat, all those things that I can change so that they are tailor-made. It will be good to have a day in the car and I'm looking forward to it."