Fernando Alonso, a two-time world champion, returned to the sport in 2021 after a two-year absence, and the Spaniard earned his first podium of the season last weekend at the Qatar Grand Prix.
It was Alonso's 98th career podium and his first since his one with Ferrari since the 2014 Hungarian Grand Prix.
With Kimi Raikkonen retiring at the end of the season, Alonso, a 32-time grand prix victor, will be the oldest driver on the grid next year at the age of 40.
However, Esteban Ocon, who was joined by Alonso at Alpine this year, thinks his colleague is still as determined as ever as both work to help the French team advance to the top of the grid.
Ocon called Alonso a "legend of the sport," and he considers him to be one of the finest drivers of all time, alongside Michael Schumacher and Ayrton Senna.
According to Ocon in an interview with motorsport.com, "I have mega high respect to Fernando,"
He continues, "I know how much work he puts in, how much motivation he has, even now at his age and with how much experience he has and how much he has achieved in the sport."
He adds, "It's more than impressive. I think he's just a legend of the sport. He's up there with the top guys, Senna, Schumacher, and he will always remain there. Because what we are doing now and what I see how he thinks out of the box compared to the other drivers is unprecedented."
He concludes, "There is nobody that will think like him and that will have his race craft ever I think, so I am glad to be his teammate and proud to push as much as we can together for our common target."
Despite the fact that a new contract was thought to be a formality, Alonso and Alpine announced an extension to the deal for the 2022 season earlier this year.
The Spaniard sits tenth in the rankings this year on 60 points, 17 ahead of his Hungarian GP winning teammate.