Fernando Alonso’s emotional reaction to first F1 podium in 7 years at Qatar GP
It’s finally come to an end. Fernando Alonso’s third-place finish at the Qatar Grand Prix ended his 7-year podium drought in F1. Alonso says that it ‘means so much’ to him.
The last time Alonso ended on the F1 podium came during his stint with Ferrari, where he came second at the Hungarian Grand Prix in 2014. If we count back from today, that’s 7 years in a row without a podium finish for a driver as talented as Alonso.
With Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas incurring grid penalties for violating yellow flag protocols during the third qualifying session, the two-time F1 world champion started 3rd on the grid for the main race. Needless to say, he was in prime position to challenge for a podium place.
At the start of the race, overtaking AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly, he launched his Alpine into second place. However, it was short-lived after Verstappen came charging through the field which held the Spaniard in third for the majority of the race. Towards the dying stage of the race, Alonso became worried as Red Bull’s Sergio Perez made his way through the pack with a fresh set of medium compound tires. Ultimately, Alonso had a healthy enough gap to Perez, which helped him secure the podium finish—ending his 7-year drought.
After the race, the decorated Spanish driver reflected upon his return to the F1 podium, sharing what it meant to him and what it took to get back.
Via SkySports F1:
Alonso shares, “It means a lot this trophy because you are up and down in your career, there are good moments, bad moments, but we show always determination.”
Alonso adds, “The dedication that you put into Formula 1, you have to dedicate all your life for this sport. Training, testing, simulator, racing and this passion and this love for the sport, this is exactly why we do this. For this kind of moment.”
It’s definitely great to see the 40-year old driver get back onto the podium after all these years—for long-time F1 fans, this should feel very nostalgic. Alonso will be hoping this won’t be the last time he’ll step onto those podium steps.