At the age of 40, Fernando Alonso continues to perform well in Formula 1. The Spaniard regularly uses his experience and intelligence on the track to get the absolute maximum from his car and for Damon Hill, he could still have a place in a top team. But the Spaniard’s own mentality and history could be a problem.
Returning to Formula One last season, Fernando Alonso became the oldest driver in the paddock following Kimi Räikkönen’s retirement at the end of 2021. At 40 years of age and with two world championship titles to his name, the Spaniard is a very experienced driver. He does not hesitate to use his experience to turn a situation to his advantage.
During qualifying for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Fernando Alonso did not fail to provoke the anger of Alexander Albon. At the very end of Q1, the Williams driver made a final attempt to qualify for Q2. Fernando Alonso also decided to put in a last lap. However, the Spaniard’s speed was criticised by Alexander Albon, who claimed that the Alpine driver’s only intention was to hurt his rivals by driving slowly and that he should be penalised for this. In the end, Fernando Alonso emerged from this little incident without any sanction from the FIA. It is this cunning side of the 40 year old driver that Damon Hill likes.
“I like him, he is so cunning,” said Hill,
“Alex Albon said he was an incredibly clever guy because he was playing games in qualifying. He was playing his old tricks, but we can’t help but have a sneaky admiration. This guy somehow manages to play everything to his advantage, and he does it with a cheeky little smile too.
“And he performs well, it’s not like he’s a nuisance and not up to scratch, he does the job. He’s good for Alpine and I’d rather have him in my team than outside, and that he does the same for me,” said the former 1996 world champion in the F1 Nation podcast.
Damon Hill believes Fernando Alonso could have a chance to fight at the front of the field if the opportunity arose. But his age and history of meddling with his teams could work against him in a top team:
“There doesn’t seem to be any exhaustion or lack of enthusiasm. If you told him he still had a chance to fight at the front, he’d jump on it, he’d be there and he’d probably win.
“So the problem is, for a top team, how long will he be there. And what carnage will there be once he starts getting involved in the management of the company and its politics, which he tends to do? He definitely crossed the line when he was at McLaren the first time, and also at Ferrari.”