Alonso drives the time machine | Sports| The USA Print

Alonso drives the time machine |  Sports

In 2003, Fernando Alonso won the first Grand Prix of his life in Hungary. Spain won the first Grand Prix in its history in Formula 1 and at least we, we don’t know him, used 20 years less. All those years, the 20s, they came back making the noise of trains falling from the sky when Alonso, on Sunday, passed Hamilton, passed Sainz and ran to the podium. The electricity we had at that moment is the electricity of time in motion, back and forth, recovering distant emotions that we didn’t know we would have again. And the advance through an impossible gap to Hamilton in the worst curve, putting the car where there was no room for a finger, brings us back to a time without gray hair for those of us who already have them, the time of 24 years for those of us who are 44, the unbeatable summer of youth when we first pronounced the Hungaroring.

Months before his first victory, in March 2003, he became the youngest driver, at the age of 21, to win a pole position. He did it after getting up that day with a fever, almost 39 degrees, and so, with his forehead hot as an oven, he knocked down Michael Schumacher. “It was a normal lap, nothing spectacular,” he said at the end of it after starting in tenth position. But when the following pilots were entering the finish line, the genius of the Spaniard stood out: nobody could exceed his time. Behind the pole, raised his index finger and said: “It is a dream and I think I will dream for a long time. And that I have not gone to the top ”.

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Definitely, it is not a pilot, it is something else. Become a social phenomenon and after years of pilgrimage inside and outside Formula 1 (he won the FIA ​​World Endurance Championship in 2019, the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2018 and 2019, the 24 Hours of Daytona in 2019), Alonso has done the impossible in the elite: come back and fight for the place he occupied, the place of number one. There is no more transcendent epic than that of the return, nor charisma that equals that of the man who, old and tired, returns to the place where he has been happy to try to continue making the rest of us happy. Alonso is an open bar party that has raised people to that abstract, inaccessible wave, which is that of popular emotion, a haunted path that only a select few travel. Alonso keeps us young: it is a calendar from which no leaves are torn.

The weight of the Asturian pilot in the Spanish imagination is no longer the weight of the pioneer, the founder of a wild competition in a country without tradition that suddenly began to learn the names of mechanics and engineers, but the weight of our lives. He has turned Edna St Millet’s candle (the one that burns at both ends, dies soon, but gives off an impressive light) into a beacon that suddenly ignites the darkness of a two-decade past. And he has done it with the same overdose of hallucination that he had as a child driving his first Renault, in the incandescent way in which he drives a car that he conceives of as an extension of his hands. With the same courage as then, with a machine that does justice to his talent, and a choking country that he whispers like a litany “33 ″ with a religious conviction: he is going to do it again. And if he does it again, Spain falls. And it will.

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