In 2023, Fernando Alonso becomes the first driver to race in 20 seasons of Formula 1 – and there are a number of records up for grabs for the Spaniard across the season. We take a look at the records on offer and the milestones Fernando Alonso will reach during the 2023 Formula 1 season!
2022 was a record-breaking season for Fernando Alonso. Last year, Alonso set a new record for most Grand Prix starts, eclipsed the record for the longest Formula 1 career and set a new benchmark for the most racing laps completed in the sport. Read more: Fernando Alonso’s 2022 F1 season in statistics.
Alonso continues in Formula 1 in 2023 with a new team. Replacing Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin becomes the sixth different constructor with which Alonso has raced. The 2023 season will also be the first in which Alonso has raced with Mercedes power since his 2007 campaign with McLaren.
22 years on from his F1 debut at the 2001 Australian Grand Prix, Alonso shows little sign of slowing down any time soon. Here are some of the remarkable records and milestones which the Spaniard will reach in 2023.
Fernando Alonso: the first driver to race in 20 seasons
There’s yet to be a Formula 1 driver who has contested in 20 different Formula 1 seasons. That changes at the 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix, with 2023 being Fernando Alonso’s 20th season in the sport.
Last year, Alonso equalled the record for most seasons in which a driver has raced. The record of 19 is shared between Rubens Barrichello, Michael Schumacher and Kimi Raikkonen but will be broken in March by Alonso.
When he does embark on his 20th season, Alonso will make an unusual piece of Formula 1 history. Oscar Piastri – who makes his debut with McLaren at the 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix – was born one month after Alonso’s maiden race at Albert Park in 2001. That therefore makes Alonso the first driver to race against a driver who was born after he made his Formula 1 debut!
While Alonso is the first driver to race in 20 Formula 1 seasons, he is not the first whose F1 career has spanned over 20 years. Michael Schumacher and Kimi Raikkonen’s first and last races also spanned a period of over 20 years. If Alonso scores in any race from the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix onwards, he’ll join the duo as the third driver to have had 20 years separating his first and last points-scoring appearances.
Alonso will set new appearance records at a number of circuits
With this being his 20th season, there are a number of tracks at which Fernando Alonso will set a new record for the most appearances. The first such track will be Albert Park, at which Alonso will overtake Kimi Raikkonen and Jenson Button as the driver to have made the most appearances at the Australian Grand Prix. It will be the Spaniard’s 18th appearance at the event.
He’ll become the first to make 17 starts at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, the first to make 19 starts at Circuit de Monaco, the first to make 20 starts at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, the Hungaroring, Monza and Interlagos.
In addition, Alonso will equal Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello’s shared record of 18 starts at the Canadian Grand Prix and will equal Kimi Raikkonen’s 20 appearances at Silverstone – though only Alonso will have made 20 British Grand Prix starts at the track as one of Raikkonen’s starts was at the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix in 2020.
Alonso to become driver with most experience at six more tracks
Fernando Alonso already holds or shares the record as the driver to have raced the most laps at eight Formula 1 circuits, including four which appear on the 2023 calendar. Most notably, in 2022 Alonso surpassed Graham Hill’s long-standing record as the driver to have raced the most laps at the Monaco Grand Prix. Another 39 laps on the board in the principality this year will see Alonso become the first to race 1,300 laps there.
In 2023, Alonso can become the driver to have raced the most laps at a further six circuits. 16 Grand Prix laps at Catalunya and 23 at Interlagos will see him topple Michael Schumacher’s benchmarks at those tracks; 34 at Silverstone will see him usurp Rubens Barrichello from the top spot; six at the Hungaroring and ten at Monza will break Kimi Raikkonen’s records.
There are 12 tracks at which Alonso cannot set a new record of most laps raced in 2023 – but even then there are some interesting milestones. He can become the third driver to have raced 1,000 laps at the Canadian Grand Prix, the sixth to race 500 at the Belgian Grand Prix and the fifth to race 700 at Suzuka.
The first driver to race 20,000 laps in Formula 1
Later this year, Fernando Alonso could become the first driver to race 20,000 laps in Formula 1. Alonso became the driver to have raced the most laps in the sport’s history in 2022, overtaking Kimi Raikkonen’s former record. He’s now 847 laps short of becoming the first to reach 20,000 laps raced.
If he were to complete every lap of every race, the earliest that Alonso can reach this milestone is on Lap 2 of the 2023 Italian Grand Prix in September.
Alonso could join the 100 podium club in 2023
Fernando Alonso needs two more top three finishes to join F1’s elite 100 podium club. If he’s successful, Alonso would be only the sixth driver to record a century of Formula 1 podium finishes. Alonso last finished on the podium at the 2021 Qatar Grand Prix.
Aston Martin did not record any podiums in 2022 – in fact, McLaren scored the only podium for a team outside of the top three in the standings at Imola – but the Silverstone-based squad did record two podium appearances in 2021 with Sebastian Vettel (even if Vettel was subsequently disqualified from one of those appearances).
Alonso could be beaten into the 100 podium club by Max Verstappen. However, the Dutchman would need to finish on the podium at every race in 2023 to achieve that feat this year!
The record for most points on offer at three tracks
Fernando Alonso has scored the third most points of any Formula 1 driver, with his tally ahead of the 2023 season standing at 2,061. He may move down to fourth in the list this year, if Max Verstappen out-scores him by 50 points over the course of the 2023 season.
Alonso already shares the record for most points-scoring appearances at the Hungarian Grand Prix with Lewis Hamilton and he could be top of the list at another two circuits by the end of this year. Alonso is one top ten finish away from equalling Kimi Raikkonen as the driver to have scored on the most occasions at the Australian Grand Prix and is one away from equalling Michael Schumacher’s record of 16 points-scoring afternoons at Interlagos.
Alonso could become the first driver to finish 300 races
To date in his Formula 1 career, Fernando Alonso has crossed the finish line on 281 occasions. That’s the most finishes of any driver in F1 history, having broken Kimi Raikkonen’s former record in 2022 and sitting one ahead of Lewis Hamilton.
If Alonso crosses the finish line at 19 races this year, he will become the first driver to reach the chequered flag at 300 races – unless Hamilton beats him to it. 2021 is the only season of Alonso’s career to date in which he has finished as many as 19 races.
Talking of finishes, Alonso could become the driver to have recorded the most finishes at the Hungaroring and Interlagos. He could also equal the record for most finishes at Bahrain International Circuit, Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Monaco and Silverstone. He already holds the record for most Grand Prix finishes at Albert Park.
The third driver to record 200 Q3 appearances?
Fernando Alonso is four top ten qualifications away from becoming the third driver to reach 200 Q3 appearances. Alonso has made 196 Q3 appearances since the knockout qualifying system was introduced in 2006, giving him an overall Q3 appearance rate of 68% – the 13th highest of any driver.
Only two drivers have made 200 Q3 appearances so far: Lewis Hamilton was first to do so at the 2018 Belgian Grand Prix, while Sebastian Vettel reached the milestone at the 2019 Canadian Grand Prix.
What if Fernando Alonso wins a race in 2023?
Fernando Alonso has not won a Formula 1 race since the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix, which marked his 32nd career victory. Could this year’s Aston Martin car present him with the opportunity to take a win? It seems unlikely, given the team’s performance in 2022. Nevertheless, change is afoot at the Silverstone-based team and many are expecting Aston Martin to take a step forwards in 2023.
If Fernando Alonso were to win a race in the 2023 season, he would become only the tenth driver to win a World Championship Grand Prix at the age of 40 or older. The last driver to do so was Nigel Mansell, at the 1994 Australian Grand Prix.
In the past 53 years, Mansell is the only driver to win in F1 after their 40th birthday. Alonso would become the oldest driver to win a Grand Prix since Jack Brabham at the 1970 South African Grand Prix. Brabham won that race at the age of 43 years, 11 months and 5 days.
Alonso would also become the driver with the longest gap between race wins as well as setting a new record for the longest gap between first and last wins. Alonso currently sits 11th in the latter list but would catapult to the top with a victory this year.
Victory with Aston Martin would also make Alonso only the fifth driver to have won with four different constructors.
What if Fernando Alonso wins the title in 2023?
Could El Plan finally come together? It’s a long shot – but stranger things have happened in Formula 1. Fernando Alonso last won the title with Renault, back in 2006. A 17 year gap between World Championships is unheard of. The largest gap between two title wins is currently seven years – a record held by Niki Lauda, who had seven years between his final two title-winning seasons in 1977 and 1984.
If Fernando Alonso were to win the title this year, he would be 42 by the time the championship is decided. That would make him the third oldest World Champion in Formula 1’s history, behind only Giuseppe Farina (who won the title at the age of 43 in 1950) and Juan Manuel Fangio (who won his last title at the age of 46 in 1957).
And if Alonso were to just miss out on the title and finish as runner-up in the standings, he’d equal Stirling Moss and Alain Prost as the driver to have finished second in the title race on the most occasions. Both Moss and Prost finished second in the end of year standings four times during their careers.