But can the Spaniard ever win another Grand Prix?
Recently perusing the various Formula 1 Fodder during the Belgian Grand Prix weekend. I ran across one Headline noting how Fredrico Suave’, aka Fernando Alonso had Chirped Piastri, Piastri, Piastri was Alpine’s Focus! I simply couldn’t help but chuckling over this Nonsense! Really Alonso? As the Sport’s Elder Statesman at Age 41, you cannot understand why Alpine would be coveting fresh faced 21yr Old Oscar Piastri, Seriously? For which I scribbled Here upon No Fenders about the current Changing Of the Guard upon Kimi Raikkonen announcing His retirement from Formula 1 just over a year ago now…
Yet the mention of Alonso’s name triggered another Factoid I’d been paying loose Attenzione to this F1 Season, that Fernando Has Raced More Grands Prix than You Kimi, Please Confirm!
Since by my Unscientific reckoning, Fernando will have just completed His Staggering 350th Grands Prix Start at this past weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix. Eclipsing the record for most Grands Prix Starts by Kimi Raikkonen, who had Broken Rubino’s, nee Rubens Barrichello’s record of 322 Grands Prix Starts at the Nurburgring’s Eiffel Grand Prix on October 11, 2020. As Kimi and His Oomphlats were set to become the first F1 Driver to make 350 Grands Prix Starts before testing positive for COVID-19 prior to last year’s Dutch Grand Prix. And finished His F1 career with 349 Starts to His credit.
Rubino’ Held the record for some 12-plus years before Raikkonen surpassed His Feat. Although Kimi in His typical Non-plussed self, said He Didn’t care about Records! And was probably Busy Having an Ice Cream…
Whilst Barrichello was the first F1 Driver to surpass Riccardo Patrese’s once staggering sum of 256 Grands Prix Starts that the Italian Held for 15 years!
As Patrese was the first Formula 1 Driver to make 200 Starts at the 1990 British Grand Prix, and also the first to make 250 Starts at the 1993 German Grand Prix.
Yet with the constant push of Liberty Media to monotize it’s Return On Investment by Adding More ‘N More Grands Prix to the F1 Calendar every year, now projected at an Outlandish 24 for next year! Patrese’s accomplishments Diminish each F1 Season. Since Lewis Hamilton just became the Sport’s sixth F1 Driver to make 300 Grands Prix Starts at this year’s French Grand Prix.
As Patrese has now slid down to ninth Overall on the Career Grands Prix Starts tally. With Alonso leading the way. Followed by Raikkonen, with Hamilton set to soon leapfrog Michael Schumacher and Jenson Button’s tie for 306 Starts at this year’s Circuit Of The Americas (COTA) U.S. Grand Prix. Along with ‘lil syd viddle’, aka Sebastian Vettel, who was busy making His 291st Start at this year’s Belgian Grand Prix. While Felipe Massa retired with 269 Starts.
As Alonso becomes Formula One’s first Driver to make 350 Grands Prix Starts. And with His two year Aston Martin contract, and Liberty Media’s Greediness! Alonso theoretically could become the Sport’s first ever Driver to make an Insane 400 Starts?
Yet Barrichello surpassed the previous Ironman Holder Riccardo Patrese’s record of 256 Grand Prix Starts Wayback in June, 2008 which I scribbled ‘bout Here upon No Fenders Wayback then. As Patrese Had surpassed Graham Hill and Jacques Laffite’s then record of 176 Grand Prix Starts Wayback in 1989!
As Graham Hill had held the Starts record for more than a Decade after His final start at the 1975 Monaco Grand Prix before perishing in a Plane crash later that November.
And then Laffite tied Hill’s record in His final start at the 1986 British Grand Prix, where the Frenchman suffered career ending injuries to both legs during a bygone era where f1 Drivers lives expectancy and career longevity was in a Far more Different Zip code than today’s modern Formula 1 era!