Formula 1: Alonso and Co. Revolt of the oldies

Revolt of the Formula 1 oldies

2021 will be a battle of the generations. Old versus young on the Formula 1 grid. Particularly in view: Fernando Alonso, who has returned.

D.he Formula 1 season 2021 could be the revolt of the old men against the young and wild. Kimi Räikkönen (41, Alfa Romeo), world champion Lewis Hamilton (36, Mercedes), Sebastian Vettel (33, Aston Martin) and Formula 1 returnees Fernando Alonso (39, Renault-Alpine) are fighting on the veteran’s side.
The side of the “wild ones” is led by the Dutch superstar Max Verstappen (23, Red Bull). He is supported by Charles Leclerc (22, Ferrari), Lando Norris (21, McLaren), Lance Stroll (22, Aston Martin), the two Haas drivers Mick Schumacher (21) and Nikita Mazepin (21) and the youngest in the field, the Japanese Yuki Tsunoda (20, Alpha Tauri).

Interesting: F1 debutant Tsunoda is 21 years younger than the Finnish “Methuselah” Räikkönen and could easily be his son.

Cult star Raikkonen is not interested in any of this. He wears it with humor. “I was young too – but was that why I was the better driver? I just find it amusing that I have already raced in Formula 1 with Max’s father. ”Raikkonen means 2001, when he made his debut at Sauber and Jos Verstappen fought for points with Arrows.

Old versus young: who is faster?

But who has advantages in the battle of the generations with the ultra-fast Formula 1 cars, which are more reminiscent of combat aircraft than street cars? The pilots have to cope with up to five g (five times their own body weight). Does a young body have any advantages under such extreme stress?

Fernando Alonso

© Renault

“Not necessarily,” says ex-Formula 1 driver Ralf Schumacher to AUTO BILD Motorsport. “Driving in Formula 1 is not like football or tennis, where age plays a bigger role. The reflexes and the willingness to take risks may wear off a bit, but the older drivers can make up for a lot with their experience, especially in the race. And they are totally fit like everyone else. ”

Schumacher continues: “In any case, the struggle of the generations will be fascinating to watch.”

Alpha Tauri team boss Franz Tost sees it similarly: “They all have to accelerate. In the end, the lap time decides, nothing else. And you don’t just drive with young people who are willing to take risks. Limit is limit and that is determined by many factors in a car. Natural talents like Kimi Räikkönen or Lewis Hamilton do not lose their extreme talent with age, which instinctively lets them feel the limit of grip on tires, that is, the limit of grip. “

Sainz and de la Rosa believe in Alonso

Alone. The focus this season is on returnees Fernando Alonso. The Spanish world champion from 2005 and 2006 drove his final season with McLaren in 2018. During his free time in Formula 1, Alonso won the endurance classics at Le Mans and Daytona, among others, and kept himself fit with guest appearances at the Indianapolis 500 and the Paris-Dakar desert rally. During test drives in Abu Dhabi in December, he impressed with his fast times. “It didn’t take me very long to get used to the speed again. It was more about getting to know the new generation of cars. ”

In any case, two of his countrymen trust him to do anything. Rally legend Carlos Sainz on ABMS: “Fernando has an irrepressible will to win. You can feel it at every tennis match. He’s still one of the best out there, ”says the Alonso confidante, whose son Carlos drives for Ferrari.

Ex-Formula 1 driver Pedro de la Rosa is also convinced: “Fernando loves Formula 1. He gives everything for success. If he has the right car, he can win his third title. Definitely. ”Strong words.


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