McLaren driver Daniel Ricciardo believes that 39-year-old Fernando Alonso is “not too old” to race in Formula 1.
Alonso returns to the sport after a two-year period away and will drive for Alpine as the replacement for the outgoing Ricciardo.
During his time away from F1, the Spaniard competed in the 2019 World Endurance Championship, winning the title and the showpiece 24 Hours of Le Mans, the 24 Hours of Daytona, which he also won, the Dakar Rally and the Indy 500.
During the last Grand Prix of the 2020 season in Abu Dhabi, Alonso took part in a demonstration run in his world championship-winning R25, while he also went fastest at the post-season young driver test.
Having watched the running the two-time world champion has done in an F1 car over the past few months, Ricciardo appears convinced that he can still compete at the highest level.
“Fernando is not too old,” he said, as reported by Speedweek. “I looked at the on-board camera footage of Fernando in the 2005 Renault in Abu Dhabi.
“That was really cool. Whoever thinks Fernando might be too old to return, I have to say – no, he is not. He only knows one speed: full throttle. He threw the old Renault over the curb that it was a pleasure.
“Although he drove a bit slower than we did in modern cars, it looked fast. Maybe that’s because of the sound of that screeching V10 engine. You automatically have the impression that a racer is fast.”