'Surprising' medical tests prompt Alonso to consider racing until 50!

Fernando Alonso (ESP), Aston Martin Racing 26.11.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 23, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, Race Day. - www.xpbimages.com, EMail: requests@xpbimages.com © Copyright: Charniaux / XPB Images
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At 42, Fernando Alonso is already defying the odds in a sport known for its youthful drivers. And the Aston Martin charger says that it may be many more years before he hangs up his helmet.

Alonso has revealed that recent medical tests have thrown a "surprising" curveball, suggesting he might be fitter than ever and capable of racing in Formula 1 until the ripe old age of 50.

This isn't just wishful thinking. Alonso's annual medical check-up at a specialized clinic revealed a remarkable turnaround.

Not only did he halt the expected decline in physical performance associated with aging, but his results indicate he's currently in peak condition – even surpassing previous benchmarks!

This revelation comes at a pivotal moment in Alonso's career. His current contract with Aston Martin expires at the end of the 2024 season, leaving his future in F1 uncertain.

The encouraging test results, however, have fueled his determination to stay on the grid. He credits a revamped diet and a fresh approach to fitness for the unexpected boost in his physical prowess.

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"We usually do the same tests," the Spaniard explained. "The first part we do in the Alps, in Italy, in the mountains.

"We have historical data of my body's cardio performance in one, two and five kilometres, in a resting state, in a thousand and one tests of fat or muscle, of reaction with the lights, as well as maximums from the gym with weights.

"While in some tests over the last five or six years, there was a minimal drop in performance - especially in terms of muscle, because, from the age of 30 or 35, you lose a little muscle - this year, we have been able to recover it to maximum levels.


“And this has been partly due to nutrition, which has changed.

"We tried to gain a bit of muscle to compensate for the age factor, without losing reactivity or endurance in cardio. These were surprising results, and I think very positive."

While commenting on the impressive results of his medical tests, Alonso alluded to the positive impact of now having an in-house nutritionist at Aston Martin which has altered his perspective on preparation and body conditioning as he hinted at moving more towards a vegetarian diet.

"There are many things that they know in terms of explaining better, that it changes maybe more into a plant-based diet," he explained.

"Maybe not completely strict, but into that route, to try to find a little bit more energy from the food that you eat, and a little bit more from your reserve as well in your body, and try to have more endurance from there."


The two-time world champion also explained that his winter preparations were not burdened by as many promotional events as in the past, leaving him more time for himself.

"I have trained more calmly, although it is true that last year the season ended earlier than usual, and I had more time to train, but it has been a winter with much more time for me than I had before.

"I always had something to do during the winter, either I had publicity events or I changed teams and we had to do things at the factory. This time I have had time for myself, to drive other cars, and that has helped me to come into this pre-season in the best shape of my life."

On the eve of F1’s record 24-race season, managing travel fatigue is also included in Alonso’s off-track priorities.

"I think we will have to travel more efficiently and we have to spend the right time in the right places," he said.

"I think every one of us is different but, in my case, for this calendar, I will try to have a little bit less time in the long races in that city, in that racetrack.

"So, Japan, Australia, China, I will try to fight jet lag in a different way, and not going super early into that country, because that keeps accumulating days away from home. And the energy and the batteries they keep draining throughout the season."


Alonso’s impressive winter fitness assessments will only boost his motivation as a competitor. But they also point to a longevity that could stretch for several more years.

"A few years ago, I would say that maybe 40 to 41 was the limit," he said when asked about how long he could go on racing among motorsport’s elite.

"Now, after I saw myself last year, motivated and performing well, I was thinking maybe that I can keep racing a few more years.

"This winter, I've been exceeding a little bit the expectations in terms of all the physical tests and everything that I did, so I will say that if you are motivated, and if you want to commit, you can drive maybe until 48 or 49, or whatever, or even 50.

"But, at the same time, you have to give up everything in life. Formula 1 needs total dedication. This is my 24th season or whatever in F1 and I gave my life for 24 years to this sport, which I'm happy and I'm okay with that.

"I can keep doing it for a few more years. But I don't know if I will be racing until 50, with such a demanding calendar and things like that. Not for the abilities, but because there are other things in life that I'm curious about."

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