Alonso has some thinking to do as he turns 32

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We wish Fernando Alonso a happy 32nd birthday today. Unfortunately, that means the Ferrari driver is another year closer to the end of his career instead of the start.

From a World Championship standpoint, that might be a death sentence. If Alonso fails to wrest the crown from Sebastian Vettel this year, 2014 will mark 10 years since a driver in his 30s has won the title.

Michael Schumacher was 35 when he won his fifth consecutive, and seventh overall, World Championship in 2004. Since then, it’s been a young man’s title domain: Alonso set records at 24 and 25 in 2005 and 2006, Kimi Raikkonen was 28 in 2007, Lewis Hamilton 23 in 2008, Jenson Button 29 in 2009, and Vettel 23, 24, and 25 the last three years.

So, Alonso has a lot to think about as he blows out the candles on the cake this year.

The birthday surprise that has emerged this weekend is his possibly being linked to a Red Bull move. Although, as I argued in a previous post, that would seem to make little sense for Alonso and for Red Bull on the surface.

He’s been a star of the sport since his debut back for Minardi in 2001. But time is running out for him to catch – and pass – Vettel from a World Championship standpoint.

Your play, Fernando.

Formula One: Recapping the past week’s news

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While the FIA Formula 1 World Championship is still two months away from beginning its 2018 season, this past week did bring about news items that filled out the 2018 grid and shed some light on individual team and car launches as the season-opening Australian Grand Prix draws closer.

Below is a recap of F1 news from this past week:

Williams Signs Sirotkin for 2018 Drive, Names Kubica as Reserve Driver

The saga of the second seat at Williams Martini Racing was finally resolved early on in the week, with former Renault Sport F1 Team test driver Sergey Sirotkin officially confirmed as a teammate to the incumbent Lance Stroll in 2018.

The announcement concluded months of speculation that saw multiple drivers test for the team in an auditioning capacity. Most notably, Robert Kubica looked to be a main contender for the seat before Sirotkin emerged as the favorite.

However, Kubica, who has not raced in Formula 1 since a devastating rally accident in 2011 left him with brutal injuries to his right arm, was named as a reserve and development driver for the team.

This announcement also completes the 2018 Formula 1 driver lineup, with all 11 teams having their seats now filled. Among those who were left without F1 drives are Paul Di Resta, who drove for Williams at the Hungarian Grand Prix in relief of Felipe Massa and even tested with them during the Winter months, and Antonio Giovinazzi, who filled in for Pascal Wehrlein at the Australian and Chinese Grands Prix.

Former Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat is also without a race seat for 2018, but did sign on with Scuderia Ferrari as a development driver.

Mercedes, McLaren Reveal Dates for Their 2018 Car Launches

While most teams have not yet released dates for when their 2018 cars will be publicly launched, three notables have.

Mercedes AMG Petronas will introduce its 2018 challenger on February 22nd, the same day Ferrari is doing so, while McLaren will unveil its car one day later on the 23rd.

Testing will commence on February 26th at Circuit de Catalunya.

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