‘I will ask for 33 next year’ - Alonso shares number joke with Verstappen

Fernando Alonso has joked with F1 world champion Max Verstappen that he will ask to use the number 33 next year. 
‘I will ask for 33 next year’ - Alonso shares number joke with Verstappen

33 is Verstappen’s permanent race number but the Dutchman has run the number 1 on his car for the last two seasons after winning back-to-back world championships in 2021 and 2022. 

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With Verstappen favourite to defend his world title again this year amid Red Bull’s dominant start to 2023, Aston Martin driver Alonso quipped he will request to use Verstappen’s former number. 

“I should ask if he’s [Max] still using Number 1, I will ask for 33 next year!” Alonso joked. 

Alonso has found himself associated with the number in his native Spain amid suggestions he could finally take his 33rd career victory in F1 this year. 

The 41-year-old Spaniard has not won an F1 race since 2013 but Aston Martin’s incredible turnaround - and two podium finishes - has raised hopes that Alonso could return to the top step of the rostrum again this season.  

“It’s crazy to see how Spain is now so enthusiastic again for Formula 1 and for everything that is happening,” Alonso added.

“So this is very, very nice to see. And hopefully, I think they did enjoy these first two podiums, the whole country.

(L to R): Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing celebrates his second position on the podium with fourth placed Fernando
(L to R): Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing celebrates his second…

“This 33, I don’t know, all these things that are happening now on social media… It was ‘El Plan’ three years ago, and then ‘The Mission', and now ’33’. So, there are a lot of 33s.

“All the football clubs, or footballers, and now tennis, or whatever, and they are all doing something with 33. So, hopefully, we can reach that number in terms of wins, and then we go for 34!”

Championship leader Verstappen, who surpassed Alonso’s total of 32 career wins last year, would like to see the two-time world champion take more wins.  

“I think Fernando should have won anyway already a lot more races than what he has done,” Verstappen said. “I think he deserves a lot more.

“I would be quite happy to see him win number 33. But I also, in a way, also I would like to see him win more. So we’ll see in the coming races.”

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