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Alonso certain he will surpass 400 F1 races as record awaits in Singapore

Fernando Alonso is certain he will go on to reach 400 Formula 1 race starts as he prepares to break Kimi Raikkonen’s record in Singapore.

Fernando Alonso, Alpine F1 Team

Fernando Alonso, Alpine F1 Team

Motorsport Images

Alonso matched Raikkonen’s tally of 349 grand prix starts at the Italian Grand Prix last weekend, putting him on the cusp of the outright record.

At 41, Alonso has shown few signs of wishing to slow down or give thought to hanging up his helmet, having recently signed a multi-year agreement with Aston Martin starting in 2023.

It has given the two-time world champion little doubt he will make it to 400 races, a tally he would likely reach towards the end of the 2024 season.

“I know the number [of starts] because every weekend we keep repeating it, but I'm not into this so much,” Alonso said of reaching Raikkonen’s record number of starts at Monza.

“I'm happy to be in Formula 1 for so many years, and with the two more coming, or whatever, however long I will be in Formula 1.

“I will reach 400 for sure, so that's a big number. It shows my passion for the sport and my discipline to perform at the high level.

“If you are not performing, the team will not give you 400 grands prix, for sure.”

Fernando Alonso, Alpine A522

Fernando Alonso, Alpine A522

Photo by: Alessio Morgese

Despite being the oldest driver on the grid, Alonso was always adamant he wanted to extend his F1 career into 2023 and beyond. It proved to be a sticking point that caused talks to break down with Alpine, which was only keen to give Alonso a firm one-year deal with an option for 2024.

Alonso’s F1 career has spanned more than 20 years, having made his debut for Minardi in 2001. He has since raced in every season with the exception of 2002, when he was a test driver for Renault, and 2019-20 when he took time out of F1 to explore other racing disciplines.

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2007 world champion Raikkonen claimed the outright starts record from Rubens Barrichello at the 2020 Eifel Grand Prix before making his final appearance with Alfa Romeo in Abu Dhabi last year.

Besides Alonso, the only other active driver with more than 300 starts to his name is Lewis Hamilton, who sits on 304. He is set to surpass Jenson Button and Michael Schumacher - both on 306 - in the next six weeks to move up to fourth in the all-time list.

Sebastian Vettel sits just behind Hamilton on 293 starts, meaning his final race in Abu Dhabi before retiring from F1 should be his 300th race appearance.

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