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Alonso has some thinking to do as he turns 32

Jul 29, 2013, 3:00 PM EST

Spanish F1 Grand Prix - Practice Getty Images

We wish Fernando Alonso a happy 32nd birthday today. Unfortunately, that means the Ferrari driver is another year closer to the end of his career instead of the start.

From a World Championship standpoint, that might be a death sentence. If Alonso fails to wrest the crown from Sebastian Vettel this year, 2014 will mark 10 years since a driver in his 30s has won the title.

Michael Schumacher was 35 when he won his fifth consecutive, and seventh overall, World Championship in 2004. Since then, it’s been a young man’s title domain: Alonso set records at 24 and 25 in 2005 and 2006, Kimi Raikkonen was 28 in 2007, Lewis Hamilton 23 in 2008, Jenson Button 29 in 2009, and Vettel 23, 24, and 25 the last three years.

So, Alonso has a lot to think about as he blows out the candles on the cake this year.

The birthday surprise that has emerged this weekend is his possibly being linked to a Red Bull move. Although, as I argued in a previous post, that would seem to make little sense for Alonso and for Red Bull on the surface.

He’s been a star of the sport since his debut back for Minardi in 2001. But time is running out for him to catch – and pass – Vettel from a World Championship standpoint.

Your play, Fernando.

  1. bmcgrath2 - Jul 31, 2013 at 12:26 AM

    Tony, can you or someone explain to me why a Formula 1 drivers shelf life is comparable to an NFL running back? Is it from the strain the cars put on the body, or what is it? I have always wondered, as I am just an unsophisticated stock car fan here. All joking aside, its kind of a bummer that once a driver reaches their early to mid 30s, they are considered ancient.

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