Fernando Alonso is surprised to be racing in F1 at the age of 40, as he celebrated his birthday on Thursday prior to the on-track action at the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Alonso made a comeback to F1 this year and will become the second most experienced driver the sport has ever seen at the Dutch GP in September, behind Kimi Raikkonen. The Spaniard admits he did not see himself still racing in F1 aged 40.
“You live only the present, you are not thinking too much about the future at that age, and you are just focused on the race weekend," Alonso told RacingNews365.com and other members of the press. "You’re hardly imagining yourself, more than two or three years in time from that moment.
“But now, it’s a different thing. I’m more used to the sport, to the Formula 1, and all the things that are quite unique here.
“When I came into the sport, I was from a very small town in the north of Spain with no experience, no background, no nothing, and then you arrive into this world and you are shocked for five, six, seven years until you get used to everything.
“Now it’s a little bit different. You know how things are, and you’re enjoying a little bit more yourself.”
Alonso's announcement to return to F1 provoked a mixed reaction, but he has scored points in the last five races and Alpine executive director Marcin Budkowski says Alonso has silenced any doubters.
“I feel good, I feel not 40 for sure,” said Alonso. “It’s the number that is surprising me as well, when I see it, when I see everywhere in the motorhome because the team prepared a really nice decoration on my room and in the lunch area as well.
“It’s a bigger number than what I feel. But, it is the way it is.”
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