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Fernando Alonso: Formula 1’s greatest showman

12 months ago

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Dan Prosser | Ti co-founder


7 June 2023

Fernando Alonso has competed in a third of all Formula 1 World Championship Grands Prix. A third! I was so astonished when I heard that statistic I had to go and verify it for myself. But it’s true – there have been 1086 F1 GPs since the first in 1950, and Alonso has raced in 362 of those. It is just one of many extraordinary statistics that decorate a truly great Formula 1 career.

Alonso, 42 next month, is enjoying his most competitive start to an F1 season in a decade. In many ways that has been the story of the year so far, made all the more remarkable by the fact he’s driving for Aston Martin, the team that finished seventh in the constructors’ standings in 2022. But this year’s Aston Martin AMR23 has so far been the second fastest car on the grid, behind only the dominant Red Bull (although the heavily upgraded Mercedes may eventually displace it). In Alonso, Aston Martin has a driver who would sooner cut off his own thumb than squander a competitive racing car.

Nevertheless, by his own admission the Spaniard hasn’t been the very fastest driver over a single lap. With two World Championships and 32 race wins to his name, nor is he close to being the most successful F1 driver of all time. But no other competitor has brought so much colour and intrigue to Formula 1 this century, or to motorsport as a whole for that matter, and none has been quite so entertaining to observe both on and off the track. So what exactly makes Fernando Alonso F1’s greatest showman?

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