Alonso didn’t expect to still be racing in Formula 1 at 40

Fernando Alonso says he did not expect to still be racing in Formula 1 at the age of 40 after celebrating his birthday on Thursday ahead of the Hungarian GP.

Alonso didn’t expect to still be racing in Formula 1 at 40

Alpine driver Alonso is the second-oldest driver on the grid behind 41-year-old Kimi Raikkonen, and said at Silverstone two weeks ago that he still feels like he is 25.  

Alpine helped celebrated Alonso’s birthday by bedecking its motorhome in decorations, while Sebastian Vettel attempted to set off a party popper in the press conference - only to aim it the wrong way and send confetti all over the floor.

Alonso turns 40 at the track where he scored his maiden grand prix victory as a 22-year-old back in 2003 during his first stint with the Enstone-based team now known as Alpine, in its Renault guise.

Asked if he could have seen himself still racing in F1 at the age of 40, Alonso replied: “No, probably not.

“You live only the present, you are not thinking too much about the future at that age, and you are just focused on the race weekend. You’re hardly imagining yourself, more than two or three years in time from that moment.

“But now, it’s a different thing. I’m more used to the sport, to the Formula 1, and all the things that are quite unique here.

“When I came into the sport, I was from a very small town in the north of Spain with no experience, no background, no nothing, and then you arrive into this world and you are shocked for five, six, seven years until you get used to everything.

“Now it’s a little bit different. You know how things are, and you’re enjoying a little bit more yourself.”

Fernando Alonso, Renault R26 leads Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber F1.06

Fernando Alonso, Renault R26 leads Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber F1.06

Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

Alonso won F1 world titles with Renault in 2005 and 2006, and returned to the grid this year after walking away from the series at the end of 2018 to explore other motorsport interests.

The Spaniard won the 24 Hours of Le Mans twice with Toyota, and also took part in the Dakar Rally before deciding to embark on an F1 comeback.

Alonso said in Thursday’s press conference that being 40 years-old was “surprising him” given he did not feel that old.

“I feel good, I feel not 40, for sure,” Alonso said.

“It’s the number that is surprising me as well, when I see it, when I see everywhere in the motorhome because the team prepared a really nice decoration on my room and in the lunch area as well.

“It’s a bigger number than what I feel. But yeah, it is the way it is.”

Vettel, 34, doubted that he would still be racing when he turned 40 in six years’ time, saying: “No, I don’t think so.

“As you asked Fernando, you never know. But right now, I would say no.”

shares
comments

Related video

The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach

Previous article

The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach

Next article

Verstappen explains why he thinks Hamilton deserved bigger F1 penalty

Verstappen explains why he thinks Hamilton deserved bigger F1 penalty
Load comments
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Prime

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Prime

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says Stuart Codling.

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Prime

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences.

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Prime

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021
Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Prime

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021
The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence Prime

The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence

OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1's elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he's recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
Italian Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Italian Grand Prix driver ratings

Two drivers produced faultless performances as, for the second year in a row, Monza threw up an unpredictable result that left many to rue what might have been

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Ricciardo would have won without Verstappen/Hamilton crash Prime

Why Ricciardo would have won without Verstappen/Hamilton crash

The clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton was the major flashpoint the 2021 Italian Grand Prix will be remembered for. Yet by this point, race leader Daniel Ricciardo had already done the hard work that would put him in position to end his and McLaren's lengthy win droughts, on a memorable afternoon in Monza

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021