Has it really been 20 years since Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso made their GP debut in Melbourne in 2001? The two have lost none of their speed – and Alonso has lost none of his sharp tongue.
Just for comparison: The youngest driver in the field today, GP rookie Yuki Tsunoda, was ten months old at the time! The 20-year-old AlphaTauri driver will be driving against the always Greens Alonso (39) and Räikkönen (41) for the first time next Sunday.
Three of the 2001 quartet later won Grand Prix, two became world champions (Alonso 2005/06, Raikkonen 2007). The third, Juan-Pablo Montoya, was also champion, in IndyCar sport and on the long-distance, at the Indycars before the F1 premiere.
Fernando Alonso and Kimi Räikkönen have lost none of their speed, Fernando cheerfully in the top ten in the final training session in Bahrain, and the Spaniard is as sharp-tongued as ever. In the Spanish ace, he couldn’t help but get a pinprick against his former employer Ferrari. There he had tried in vain to become world champion from 2010 to 2014.
Fernando scoffs: “It’s 2021 now, and Ferrari has still not won the World Cup. I have never regretted leaving there. Of course there are decisions that turn out to be questionable in retrospect, but that wasn’t one of them. The timing to leave Ferrari was perfect, even if I didn’t achieve what I had set out to do with McLaren afterwards. ”
Should Alonso and Räikkönen turn onto the winning road of Formula 1 again, they would not be the oldest drivers, by the way. Well over 40, Damon Hill, Maurice Trintignant, Nigel Mansell, Jack Brabham, Piero Taruffi, Juan Manuel Fangio and Giuseppe Farina still won. And with Luigi Faglioli in 1951 a grandfather in France at 53. But that was all a long time ago. Just like the oldest champions: Nino Farina was almost 44 years old in 1950, Juan-Manuel Fangio 46 years old in 1957. More recently, Nigel Mansell was 39 when he won the 1992 title.
So Alonso and Raikkonen still have room to break oldies records.
01. Max Verstappen (NL), Red Bull Racing RB16B-Honda, 1:28,997
02. Lewis Hamilton (GB), Mercedes W12, 1:29,385
03. Valtteri Bottas (FIN), Mercedes W12, 1: 29,586
04. Charles Leclerc (MC), Ferrari SF21, 1: 29.678
05. Pierre Gasly (F), AlphaTauri AT02-Honda,1:29,809
06. Daniel Ricciardo (AUS), McLaren MCL35M-Mercedes, 1: 29,927
07. Lando Norris (GB), McLaren MCL35M-Mercedes, 1: 29,974
08. Carlos Sainz (E), Ferrari SF21,1:30,215
09. Fernando Alonso (E), Alpine A521-Renault, 1.30,249
10. Lance Stroll (CDN), Aston Martin AMR21-Mercedes, 1:30,601
11. Sergio Pérez (MEX), Red Bull Racing RB16B-Honda, 1:30,659
12. Antonio Giovinazzi (I), Alfa Romeo C41-Ferrari, 1: 30.708
13. Yuki Tsotaka (J), AlphaTauri AT02-Honda, 1: 31,203
14. Kimi Räikkönen (FIN), Alfa Romeo C41-Ferrari, 1: 31,238
15. George Russell (GB), Williams FW43B-Mercedes, 1:33,430
16. Esteban Ocon (F), Alpine A521-Renault, 1:31,724
17. Nicholas Latifi (CDN), Williams FW43B-Mercedes, 1:31,926
18. Sebastian Vettel (D), Aston Martin AMR21-Mercedes, 1:32,056
19. Mick Schumacher (D), Haas VF-21-Ferrari, 1:32,449
20. Nikita Mazepin (RUS), Haas VF-21-Ferrari, 1:33,273