MONZA, Italy - Fernando Alonso believes his performance level in 2022 has been better than the two seasons he won the Formula One championship with Renault.
Alonso is on a brilliant run of form for Alpine currently, having finished in the points at 10 consecutive races, a run stretching back to his home race at the Spanish Grand Prix in May.
Alonso's form has helped Alpine take a commanding lead in its fight with McLaren for fourth.
The 40-year-old, who will stay in F1 beyond this season after signing a multi-year deal with Aston Martin, thinks he's driving better than he did in 2005 and 2006.
"I'm happy and proud of the performance," Alonso said. "I think together with 2012 they have been my best two seasons, even higher than my championship ones when we had a dominant car in those years. 2012, 2022... next one will be 2032!"
Alonso's 2012 season, when he almost beat Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel to the championship despite driving an inferior Ferrari car, is widely regarded as one of the strongest performances of any driver in the modern era.
On that occasion, Vettel edged Alonso at the season finale in Brazil. Following the race, TV cameras captured Alonso's now-famous thousand-yard stare after he got out of his car, although he has since claimed he was waiting to congratulate Ferrari teammate Felipe Massa
Alonso is set for the 349th start of his Formula One career, which will bring him level with former Ferrari teammate and former ex-world champion Kimi Raikkonen.
The Spaniard said he would not have reached such a number if he lacked passion or talent.
"I'm not into this [statistic] so much, I'm happy to be in Formula One for so many years. With the two more coming... or whatever, however long I will be in Formula One... I will reach 400 for sure. That's a big number and it shows my passion for the sport, my discipline to perform at the high level. If you are not performing the teams will not give you 400 grands prix for sure."