Having finished third in last weekend’s Miami Grand Prix, when Fernando Alonso lines up for the next Formula 1 race he will have gone a decade without winning a grand prix.
Alonso was racing for Ferrari when he scored the 32nd win of his career in the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix. Nine of the 20 drivers on this year’s grid, including Alonso’s team mate Lance Stroll and championship leader Max Verstappen, were still in go-karts then.
If Alonso does win another race, he will break the record for the longest wait between consecutive grand prix wins. That is held by Riccardo Patrese, who had to wait six years and 210 days between his victories in the 1983 South African Grand Prix for Brabham and the 1990 San Marino Grand Prix for Williams. That spanned 99 races – in contrast Alonso has started 162 during that time, and missed 38 over 2019 and 2020.
The intervening period has featured few missed opportunities for Alonso to win again. He did not qualify in the top four for an F1 race until the final round of the season, and had to wait until last year’s Canadian Grand Prix to line up on the front row again. Only once during that time has a team mate of his taken a victory – Esteban Ocon’s breakthrough triumph at the 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix.
Alonso arrived at his current team via McLaren – including an interminable three years in the slow and unreliable Honda-powered cars – and Alpine, plus two years out of F1 racing in the World Endurance Championship, IndyCar and Dakar rally. However his move to Aston Martin this year has proved an inspired choice – in five races he’s finished on the podium four times, taking his total top-three finishes since his last victory to a total of 13.
Teams: Ferrari (red), McLaren (orange), Alpine (blue), Aston Martin (green)
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Alonso returned to the front row in Jeddah earlier this year and in Miami he started from second place once again. That was the 40th time in his career he has qualified in the top two, and on Sunday he finished third for the 33rd time since debuting in F1. That puts him level with the retired Sebastian Vettel, and now only Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton have appeared on the podium’s bottom spot more times than Alonso.
That also helped Aston Martin reach the 100-point mark for the first time in a season, after just five races, with their trophy cabinet now consisting of five items. On the same number of F1 trophies is Porsche and Stewart –…