While Red Bull dominated the Bahrain Grand Prix with Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez coming first and second respectively, Fernando Alonso’s podium with Aston Martin was arguably a far bigger talking point in the desert. The 41-year-old came in third and secured what was his first podium since 2021 and his first with Aston Martin - a team he only joined ahead of the 2023 season.
The Spaniard’s teammate, Lance Stroll, came in sixth which was a tremendous achievement in itself given that the Canadian driver had undergone surgery on his wrist only a matter of two weeks before his first race. All eyes are set to be on both Stroll and the two-time World Champion Alonso as Formula 1 takes Saudi Arabia with expectations high for another strong finish in Jeddah. Ferrari and Mercedes will be desperate to beat the team that came in seventh in 2022 but it looks as if this is going to be a tougher task than either Fred Vasseur or Toto Wolff would like.
So, with the onus very much on Alonso to continue his strong start to the performance, could he end up being one of the oldest race winners of champions in Formula 1?
How old is the oldest F1 driver?
In 2023, Fernando Alonso is the oldest man on the grid with the youngest being McLaren’s Oscar Piastri at just 21 years of age. The Spaniard was born in July 1981 while the Australian wasn’t born until April 2001. However, Alonso is not the oldest man to have driven an F1 car.
The oldest man to have started a F1 race was the Monegasque driver Louis Chiron who was 55 years and 292 days when he competed in the 1955 Monaco Grand Prix. In fact, the top 10 oldest drivers to have raced in F1 all competed in the 1950s with Bill Aston the only British driver amongst them.
Chiron also entered the 1958 Monaco Grand Prix, when he was 58 years and 277 days but he failed to qualify for the race.
How old is the oldest F1 race winner?
In 1951, Italy’s Luigi Fagioli won the French Grand Prix at 53 years and 22 days old. Out of the top oldest race winners in F1 history, only three were won outside the 1950s. In 1970, Australia’s Jack Brabham won the South African Grand Prix at 43 years 399 days old; Britain’s Nigel Mansell won the 1994 Australian Grand Prix at 41 years, 97 days old and compatriot Graham Hill won the 1969 Monaco Grand Prix at 40 years old, 92 days old.
Therefore, if Fernando Alonso were to win a race this season, he could sit either sixth or seventh on the list of oldest race winners in the sport. If he were to win the F1 title, he would not, however, be the oldest champion. Juan Manuel Fangio is still the oldest driver to have won the drivers’ Championship. A feat he accomplished in 1957 at the age of 46 years 41 days old.
How old are the 2023 drivers?
Oscar Piastri: 6 April 2001, 21
Logan Sargeant: 31 December 2000, 22
Yuki Tsunoda: 11 May 2000, 22
Lando Norris: 13 November 1999, 23
Zhou Guanyu: 30 May 1999, 23
Lance Stroll: 29 October 1998, 24
George Russell: 15 February 1998, 25
Charles Leclerc: 16 October 1997, 25
Max Verstappen: 17 September 1996, 26
Alex Albon: 23 March 1996, 26
Pierre Gasly: 7 February 1996, 27
Nyck de Vries: 6 February 1995, 28
Carlos Sainz: 1 September 1994, 38
Kevin Magnussen: 5 October 1992, 30
Sergio Perez: 26 January 1990, 33
Valtteri Bottas: 28 August, 1989
Nico Hulkenberg: 19 August 1987, 35
Lewis Hamilton: 7 January 1985, 38
Fernando Alonso: 29 July 1981, 41
When is the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix?
The Saudi Arabian Grand Prix takes place this Sunday 19 March with the race scheduled to begin at 5pm GMT. Sky Sports will have all the coverage and more information on the race is available in our article on the Jeddah Corniche Formula 1 race.