Fernando Alonso reaches 'crazy' 300 F1 Grand Prix milestone
300 up for Fernando - but will he take F1's outright record?
By James Galloway in Montreal
Last Updated: 08/06/18 2:15pm
Fernando Alonso has admitted he once thought the prospect of competing in 300 grands prix was "crazy", as the Spaniard celebrates reaching his own triple ton at this weekend's Canadian GP.
When he takes to the track for Friday practice at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Alonso will become just the fourth driver in history to appear in 300 or more F1 race weekends after Rubens Barrichello (326), Jenson Button (309) and Michael Schumacher (308).
McLaren marked the milestone in the Montreal paddock on Thursday by holding a ceremony attended by members of the paddock where Alonso was shown a special film about his career and presented with a book featuring pictures from every grand prix he has featured in so far.
Eight drivers attended and afterwards posed for a picture with the two-time world champion wearing special commemorative '300 Alonso GP' baseball caps.
Alonso, who began his career aged 19 in 2001 with Minardi, said: "A couple of years ago I remember Rubens doing the record 320-something and I thought he was a little bit crazy to be so long in F1 - and now I'm getting quite close.
WATCH: It’s the 300th grand prix this weekend for Fernando Alonso – but will he still be on the grid in 2019? See the full interview this weekend on Sky Sports F1 as part of our exclusively live coverage of the Canadian GP#SkyF1 #F1 #CanadianGP pic.twitter.com/mWAkKpFvqC— Sky Sports F1 🏎 (@SkySportsF1) June 7, 2018
"It's a special weekend. Hopefully we can put in a good performance."
The 2005 and 2006 world champion reflects on his stellar career and what the future might hold beyond 2018 in a wide-ranging interview with Martin Brundle which features in Sky F1's build-ups to Qualifying and the Race this weekend in Canada. The race begins at 7.10pm on Sunday and is exclusively live on Sky Sports.
When's the Canadian GP on Sky?
The key TV times and how to watch Sky F1's exclusively live coverage from Montreal
Meanwhile, McLaren racing director Eric Boullier paid tribute to the Spaniard and recounted how he pinpointed Alonso, then at Ferrari, as his No 1 target when he joined the Woking team in 2014.
"Congratulations. This is an achievement…you're not far off Rubens!" joked Boullier.
"I remember when I joined McLaren [in 2014] I was asked by Ron [Dennis] which driver I wanted and I said Fernando - and he said to me 'that might be a little bit touchy' after the 2007 year!
"But he said 'if you think he's the best, go for him'. And I said 'yes, he's the best' and I went for him.
"I think I visited half of your hotel rooms in that year!"
Fernando Alonso's F1 stats - per 100 races
Alonso has won 32 grands prix and two world championships during his 17-year career, but has so far refused to commit his future to F1 beyond 2018.
The 36-year-old is dovetailing this season with the World Endurance Championship, where next weekend he competes in sportscar's showpiece Le Mans 24 Hours as part of his attempt to win the second leg of motorsport's 'Triple Crown'.
Should Alonso continue his F1 career into 2019 then he would surpass Barrichello as the most experienced driver in F1 history.
Can Ferrari or Red Bull deny Lewis Hamilton a fourth consecutive win in Montreal? Watch the Canadian GP exclusively live on Sky Sports F1 this weekend. Get Sky Sports F1.
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