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Formula 1: First over 40 driver on the podium since Schumacher

The driver of the Qatar GP is Fernando Alonso – so the result of the worldwide vote of the fans. No wonder: the Spaniard achieved the 98th podium of his Formula 1 career thanks to a one-stop strategy. And that in the Alpine Renault.

The statistics show how special this podium is: Alonso is back on the podium for the first time since the 2014 Hungarian GP (back in the Ferrari). That was seven years, three months and 25 days ago. Only one driver in history had to wait longer for a podium visit: Alexander Wurz. Seven years, nine months and eleven days passed between his third place at the 1997 British GP in a Benetton-Renault and that at the 2005 Imola GP in a McLaren-Mercedes.

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Alonso turned 40 in July. The age limits have been torn down for years. With Max Verstappen, a teenager has even won a Grand Prix. Drivers over 40 are now in short supply. In the last 30 years, just three over-40s have made it onto the podium: Nigel Mansell was 41 years, three months and five days old at the 1994 Australian GP in a Williams-Renault. Michael Schumacher at the 2012 European GP in a Mercedes even 43 years, five months and 21 days. And now Alonso at 40 years, three months and 23 days.

Three over 40 drivers in 30 years

Fernando Alonso is on the podium for the first time since the 2014 Hungarian GP.

“It’s nice to be back here,” says Alonso. “With the soft tires, I even thought I could lead after the first lap. Well, that didn’t work out. But third place is fantastic. Finally back on the podium, I’ve waited seven years for it! “

Alonso is having a strong season. The comeback wasn’t easy – new cars, old age, the two-year break. In the first races he had to bow to his teammate Esteban Ocon. The Frenchman is the future at Alpine and extended his contract to the end of 2024 in the summer. But Alonso has turned the duel in the meantime, in qualifying he leads 11: 9, after World Cup points he is ahead with 77:60 points.
Ocon won the Hungarian GP for Alpine. But Alonso also actively helped – because he defended himself against Lewis Hamilton for several laps. The Spaniard is still one of the strongest drivers in the field in a duel. No one overtook as often as he did in 2021 – 116 times!

Alonso with the most overtaking maneuvers in 2021

Alonso is clearly enjoying his return: “If I leave Formula 1 without another win, I’ll still be very, very happy and proud.”

But a resignation is not in sight at all. In 2022 he will add another season with Alpine. “I hope we can be a nice surprise with the new cars,” said the Spaniard. “But there are no expectations. There is no guarantee of a return to the top. ”

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How well Alpine starts the new era from 2022 will determine how long Alonso continues to drive Formula 1. In the 17th race of the 2022 season, he will break Kimi Räikkönen’s record for most Grands Prix. Alonso: “My intention or consideration is to drive a few more years. But whether I will still be there in 2024 or 2025 remains to be seen. “

Formula 1 on TV

Formula 1 will run at Sky in 2021. The station is setting up its own TV station for the new era: Sky Formula 1. Here there is motorsport 24 hours a day. All training sessions, all qualifying sessions, all races always live and without commercial breaks. Sky also broadcasts the Formula 2, Formula 3 and Porsche Supercup races. The program also includes historical races and special programs. You can find more information here

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