Alonso will celebrate his birthday on Thursday at the Hungaroring, joining 41-year-old Kimi Raikkonen as the only other driver on the grid to be racing over the age of 40.
The two-time F1 world champion won his first title at the age of 24 in 2005, and returned to the grid with Alpine this year after two seasons away racing in sportscars, IndyCar and at the Dakar Rally.
Doubts were raised about Alonso’s fitness after a pre-season cycling accident left him with an upper jaw fracture, acting as a setback for his preparations to get back on the grid.
But the Spaniard has recently hit his stride after initially taking time to get back up to speed in F1, scoring points in each of the last five races.
Asked for his thoughts on his first race as a 40-year-old in Hungary this weekend, Alonso joked that he would shave his beard and make other preparations “so you don’t ask about age”.
Fernando Alonso, Alpine A521, arrives in Parc Ferme
Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images
“I will go on the [sunbed], I will be tanned, I will shave, and I will look very young!” Alonso said. “No, I mean, it’s going to be a very normal race, no change for me. I feel good.
“Honestly, after the accident at the beginning of the year, in the first couple of races, [there was] still a part of the stress of coming back to the sport.
“I was concerned about the jaw, about the shoulder as well, that I had the small, small injury. But now, I’m super, super fit and I am 200%. So, you know, [Hungary] is another number.
“We’ll eat some cake. But apart from that, it’s going to be a very normal weekend. I feel 25. So whatever number it says in the passport, it’s not what I feel.”
Alonso has recently spearheaded Alpine’s charge in F1, recording a best finish so far this year of sixth at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
He is set to undergo further surgery on his jaw after the completion of the 2021 season to remove two titanium plates that were put in place.