Happy 39 to Fernando Alonso!

©WRI

With 312 Grand Prix starts to his name, Fernando Alonso, who was born on this day 39 years ago, has earned the status of 'veteran'.

But the competitive Spaniard might well add the title of senior citizen in F1 next year when he returns to the fray with Renault. But that distinction will be conditioned on Kimi Raikkonen leaving the grid at the end of the season.

Alonso started his career in Formula 1 with Minardi back in 2001, running the year before in F3000. The then 19-year-old - driving for Team Astromega - didn't win the championship that year, but he did score a victory at the last round at Spa, where he is seen here.