Fernando Alonso is continuing to push the boundaries of what we know is possible in Formula 1, having signed a multi-year contract to move to Aston Martin for the 2023 season and beyond.
The Spaniard initially retired from the sport after a disappointing spell with McLaren but was tempted back to F1 in 2021 with Alpine, who had rebranded from the team Alonso where won his two world titles, Renault.
Despite his advanced age, Alonso finished in ninth place in the drivers’ championship in 2022 but without the six DNFs he suffered as a result of Alpine’s reliability woes, he could have finished as the best of the rest driver ahead of Lando Norris.
Having grown frustrated with Alpine’s problems and his relationship with his teammate Esteban Ocon, Alonso announced that he would be moving to Aston Martin to replace Sebastian Vettel, who has retired from F1 at the age of 35.
The ages of drivers on the F1 grid continues to get more and more spread out, as the 41-year-old Alonso will be joined in the paddock by 21-year-olds such as Oscar Piastri and Logan Sargeant.
While F1 chief technical officer Pay Symonds has explained why drivers are now able to race at a much more advanced age than before, he has admitted that he would not be surprised to see Alonso begin to slow down this year.
“We’ve got such a spectrum now,” said Symonds via GPFans.
“An 18-year-old can get in and drive as [Lance] Stroll did and as, indeed, [Max] Verstappen did, right through into the 40s because the cars are not terribly physical to drive in terms of upper body strength.
“You still need a reasonable amount and to be able to resist the g-forces, but if you keep training, you can do that.
“Fernando’s mind is as sharp as ever. Is he as quick as he ever was? I don’t know.
“There must be something which tempers you – it might be called common sense.”
Despite Symonds’ suggestions that Alonso could start to lose some pace as he continues to age, the Spaniard has boldly predicted that he could add to his two championship titles during his time with Aston Martin.
The 41-year-old has claimed that the staff working for the team are some of the most talented that he has ever seen, given Aston Martin the potential to achieve great things in the near future.