Fernando Alonso Surpasses Michael Schumacher in Elusive F1 List After Qatar GP Podium

Published 11/23/2021, 5:16 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Qatar Grand Prix – Losail International Circuit, Lusail, Qatar – November 21, 2021 Third placed Alpine’s Fernando Alonso celebrates on the podium REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed/Pool


After seven years, three months, and twenty-five days, El Plan finally worked again for Fernando Alonso in Qatar. The Alpine driver scored his first podium finish after coming second in Hungary in 2014.

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And with that, Alonso ended his podium drought; a drought which was the second-longest in history in terms of days between two podiums. Interestingly, Alonso is also the second driver from modern F1 who has a mention on that unfortunate list. The other is Michael Schumacher.

Schumacher’s podium finish in the Europen Grand Prix in 2012 came after a span of five years, eight months, and twenty-three days from his win in China, in 2006. This was a race which the then Ferrari driver, Fernando Alonso, won.

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While Alonso may not have an advantage over Schumacher in major records and statistics, he can take consolation in having a better comeback season at least.

Fernando Alonso having a better comeback than Michael Schumacher

Michael Schumacher, for all his sheer talent and numbers, struggled in his second stint in F1. The German driver signed for his native team Mercedes, who weren’t then what they are today. In his time at Mercedes, Schumacher only managed one podium and one pole position.  Both of them came in the final year of his Silver Arrows era. In his first year, he didn’t make any headlines.

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Fernando Alonso, in his first year with Alpine, put on a masterclass in defensive driving, which enabled his teammate Esteban Ocon to win in Hungary. And then there was the podium in Qatar. The podium, which directly or indirectly got him pumped up to claim he’s ready to fight for the title in the new era starting from 2022, provided they have a fast car.

Alonso confident after the podium

“I think it’s a reset for everybody and it’s up to us to produce a fast car. It’s not like this year, which was a continuation of the last campaign but in 2022 everyone has the same cards so we need to play smarter and hopefully produce a fast car and if we are in that position I feel strong, I feel ready to take the battle,” Alonso said after the race in Qatar.

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Alonso’s podium in Qatar was the 98th of his career. Having extended his contract with Alpine for another year in 2022, he will have the podium century on his mind.

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Shaharyar

206 articles

Shaharyar is a Formula 1 & NASCAR writer at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Journalism from Amity University, he has been a passionate follower of motorsports for better part of the decade. A Max Verstappen and Ferrari supporter, he dreams of a pairing of the two in future.

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