With his characteristic determination, the Spaniard gained one place at the start and even when he was immediately overtaken by the Dutch driver and dropped to 7th place because of a pit stop, he didn’t lose heart. Back in 3rd place on the 41st lap, he held on to this position until he crossed the checkered flag and secured the podium place in Formula 1 that he had been chasing for seven long years.
However, in the meantime, the Asturian hadn’t been twiddling his thumbs, because in the two-year period from 2018 to 2019 he won two 24 Hours of Le Mans races, one 24 Hours of Daytona and one Endurance World Championship. He wasn’t so lucky in the Indianapolis 500, where he led the race for 27 laps, even though it was his first time, before being forced to withdraw and in the Dakar Rally 2020, where he came 13th.
All this has shown that despite his age – he was 40 on July 29 – he has not lost his driving technique and he is still hungry for results. Counting on this as well as his experience, the Alpine F1 Team signed him up and proposed returning to Formula 1 after missing the last three championships.