Only nine drivers have won Formula 1 races in their 40s
Fernando Alonso returns to the site of his first ever win in Formula 1 in Hungary. There, he won the 2003 Hungarian Grand Prix when he was just 22 years old, becoming the sport’s youngest winner at the time.
Fast forward 19 years and Alonso is back in Hungary, racing for the same team he claimed his first in the sport with, albeit under a different guise in the form of Alpine.
The team also claimed their first win as Alpine in the sport last year at Hungary when French driver Esteban Ocon, took advantage of a first-lap melee that saw several frontrunners crash out.
If Alonso can repeat his teammate’s success, he will join an exclusive list of drivers to win their 40s the last of whom was Nigel Mansell when the British driver won the 1994 Australian Grand Prix, aged 41 and three months old.
At the French Grand Prix, Alonso broke the record for most laps in Formula 1 completing 18,672 laps since his debut.
He is also the gird’s most experienced driver, completing 19 seasons in the sport. That is a record he shares with Rubens Barrichello, Kimi Raikkonen and Michael Schumacher, though he could eclipse the trio if he resigns with Alpine for next year.
Alonso can break another record this season. If all goes to plan the two-time world champion will surpass Raikkonen as the driver with the most number of races under his belt at the 2022 Singapore Grand Prix with 350 races to his name.
It is also important to remember that Alonso spent two seasons away from the sport pursuing his other interests.
Despite tuning 41, Alonso has made no secret of his wish to win a third world title. However, the dominance of Ferrari and Red Bull have put those expectations on hold at least for another year.
It would be difficult to imagine F1 without Alonso, but could Hungary provide the Spaniard with one final opportunity to bow out in style?