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Fernando Alonso
Fernando Alonso 2009 Australia.jpg
Alonso at the 2009 Australian Grand Prix
Nationality  Spanish
Formula One World Championship career
Current team Ferrari
Car # 8
Races 141 (140 starts)
Championships 2 (2005, 2006)
Wins 22
Podiums 54
Career points 602
Pole positions 18
Fastest laps 14
First race 2001 Australian Grand Prix
First win 2003 Hungarian Grand Prix
Last win 2010 Bahrain Grand Prix
Last race 2010 Bahrain Grand Prix
2009 position 9th (26 pts)

Fernando Alonso Díaz (born 29 July 1981) is a Spanish Formula One racing driver and a two-time World Champion, who is currently racing for Ferrari alongside Felipe Massa.

On 25 September 2005, he won the Formula One World Driver's Championship title at the age of 24 years and 58 days, breaking Emerson Fittipaldi's record of being the youngest Formula One World Drivers' Champion (this record was subsequently broken by Lewis Hamilton). After retaining the title the following year, Alonso also became the youngest double Champion. In 2007, he became the second F1 driver, after Michael Schumacher, to score at least 100 points for three consecutive seasons. Nicknamed El Nano, a typical pseudonym for Fernando in Asturias, his place of birth, Alonso acts as a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF[1] and is one of the directors of the Grand Prix Drivers' Association.

Contents

Personal and early life

Fernando Alonso was born in Oviedo, Asturias in northern Spain. His mother worked in a department store and his father was employed as a mechanic in an explosives factory near Oviedo.[2] Alonso has an older sister, Lorena. Alonso's father José Luis, an amateur kart racer, wanted to pass on his passion to his children. He built a kart, originally meant for eight-year-old Lorena, but unlike her three-year-old brother, she showed no interest in the sport.[2]

Alonso is married to Raquel del Rosario, lead singer of Spanish pop band El Sueño de Morfeo.[3] The two were married on November 17, 2006.[4]

They currently live in Oxford, England, and own a house in Mont-sur-Rolle, near Lake Geneva, Switzerland. He is an avid card tricks fan and usually plays cards when he's hanging out with Robert Kubica during the race weekend. He is also interested in other sports, like cycling, football and tennis. Alonso has hinted at running a cycling team in the 2011 edition of the Tour de France with Alberto Contador leading the team.[5]

In addition to Spanish, he speaks English, Italian, and French.

Early career

As a child, Alonso participated in karting competitions around Spain, supported by his father, who also doubled as his mechanic. His family lacked the financial resources needed to develop a career in motorsport, but his victories attracted sponsorship and the required funds. Alonso won four Spanish championships back-to-back in the junior category, between 1993 and 1996 and the Junior World Cup in 1996. He won the Spanish and Italian Inter-A titles in 1997 and in 1998 won the Spanish Inter-A title again as well as finishing second in the European Championship.[6]

Former Minardi F1 driver Adrián Campos gave Alonso his first test in a race car in October 1998. After three days of testing at the Albacete circuit, Alonso had matched the lap times of Campos' previous driver Marc Gené.[7] Campos signed Alonso to race for him in the 1999 Spanish Euro Open MoviStar by Nissan series.[8] In his second race, again at Albacete, Alonso won for the first time. He took the championship by one point from championship rival Manuel Giao by winning and setting fastest lap at the last race of the season. Alonso also tested for the Minardi Formula One team, lapping 1.5 seconds faster than the other drivers at the test.[8]

The following season Alonso moved up to Formula 3000, which was often the final step for drivers before ascending to Formula One. Alonso joined Team Astromega and was the youngest driver in the series that year by eleven months.[8] Alonso didn't score a point until the seventh race of the year, but in the final two rounds he took a second place and a victory, enough for him to end the season fourth overall behind Bruno Junqueira, Nicolas Minassian and Mark Webber.[8]

Formula One career

2001: Minardi

Alonso was the third-youngest driver ever to start a F1 race when he made his debut with Minardi at the Australian Grand Prix. The team was in its first season under the control of new owner Paul Stoddart and their new car, the PS01, was neither fast nor reliable. However Alonso's qualifying performance was good, at his first race he out-qualified team mate Tarso Marques by 2.6s. At the fourth round at Imola he outqualified both of the Benettons, a feat he repeated later in the season.[8]

Notable performances over the 2001 season had earned him some attention from the faster teams. It was reported in September 2001 by some of the European press that Sauber were looking to replace outgoing Kimi Räikkönen with the Spaniard although he was facing competition for the seat from Felipe Massa and then Jaguar test driver André Lotterer.[9] A month later it was confirmed that Massa was going to take the vacant Sauber seat for 2002.[10]

In September, his manager Flavio Briatore had begun planning to place Alonso at Benetton. Briatore considered promoting Alonso for 2002, in place of his race driver Jenson Button, but instead chose to take Alonso on as Renault test driver for 2002.[8] At the final round of 2001 at Suzuka he finished eleventh — five places outside the points but ahead of Heinz-Harald Frentzen’s Prost-Ferrari, the BAR-Honda of Olivier Panis, the two Arrows and his team mate Alex Yoong.[8] Four years later, his team boss from the Minardi days, Paul Stoddart, described his race as "53 laps of qualifying".[11] He scored no points in the season.

2002-2006: Renault

2002–2003

Alonso became test driver for Renault in 2002 (Renault having taken over the Benetton team) and did 1,642 laps of testing that year. In 2003 Briatore dropped Button and put Alonso in the second seat alongside Jarno Trulli.[8]

The Spaniard became the youngest driver to achieve a Formula One pole position at the Malaysian Grand Prix. Alonso had a 180 mph crash at the Brazilian Grand Prix, the result of missing the double yellow flags and Safety Car boards brought out by Mark Webber's earlier crash and colliding with the debris.[12] The race was red-flagged. He finished second at his home grand prix two races later, and at the time became the youngest driver to win a Formula One race at the Hungarian Grand Prix. He finished the year sixth in the championship, with 55 points and four podiums.

2004
Fernando Alonso driving for the Renault Formula One team at the 2004 United States Grand Prix.

Alonso remained with Renault for the 2004 season, scoring podiums in Australia, France, Germany and Hungary. At Indianapolis he suffered a high-speed accident while running in third place after a tyre deflated. In France he took pole position and finished second, running Michael Schumacher close for victory. Towards the end of the year teammate Jarno Trulli's performances deteriorated and he dropped Renault boss Flavio Briatore as his manager. Trulli's relationship with the team deteriorated to the extent that he signed for Toyota from 2005 onwards. Alonso ended the year fourth in the championship standings with 59 points.

2005
Alonso rounded off 2005 with victory at the 2005 Chinese Grand Prix.

For the 2005 season, Alonso was joined at Renault by Italian driver Giancarlo Fisichella. At the first race in Australia Alonso started near the back due to rain in qualifying but fought his way to third. He won the next two races in Malaysia and Bahrain from pole position, and took a third win in the San Marino Grand Prix after a 13-lap battle with Michael Schumacher.

McLaren's improving form saw Räikkönen win in Spain and Monaco while Alonso finished second and fourth, respectively. Räikkönen was on course to win the European Grand Prix at the Nürburgring when his car's front-right suspension failed (due to a flat spot on the tyre caused by Räikkönen locking his wheels under braking while passing Jacques Villeneuve) on the last lap, giving victory to Alonso.

Alonso failed to score in the Canadian and United States Grands Prix. He crashed out of the former, and in the latter all the Michelin runners withdrew due to safety concerns over their tyres.

Alonso took his third pole position and fifth win at the French Grand Prix. He followed this with pole position a week later at the British Grand Prix, where he finished second behind Montoya. McLaren's Kimi Räikkönen led the German Grand Prix until his car's hydraulics failed. Alonso went on to win the race.

Alonso qualified 6th in the Hungarian Grand Prix but finished 11th after a collision with the Toyota of Ralf Schumacher.

As the season entered its final stages Alonso finished second in three consecutive races, collecting vital championship points. Räikkönen won in Turkey and Belgium, but was fourth at Monza after engine trouble in qualifying, meaning Alonso's lead had been reduced by only one point.

Alonso sealed the title by finishing third in Brazil while Montoya won from Räikkönen. The Spaniard became the youngest Drivers' Champion at the age of 24 years and 59 days old, breaking Emerson Fittipaldi's record. He also ended the 5-year dominance of Michael Schumacher.

Commenting on his victory, he said: "I just want to dedicate this championship to my family, and all my close friends who have supported me through my career. Spain is not a country with an F1 culture, and we had to fight alone, every step of the way, to make this happen. A huge thank-you should also go to the team as well — they are the best in Formula One, and we have done this together. It will say that I am world champion, but we are all champions — and they deserve this." In the May 2007 issue of F1 Racing, Alonso said that the 2005 Brazilian Grand Prix was his greatest race. He said, "It was a dream come true and a very emotional day. In the last few laps I leaped, thinking I could hear noises from the engine- from everywhere! But all was okay and I can remember my relief when I crossed the finish line."

The Japanese and Chinese Grands Prix saw Alonso and Renault abandon the conservative style evident in Brazil when he was still chasing the drivers' title. Starting from 16th on the grid, he eventually finished third behind Räikkönen and Fisichella. The Chinese Grand Prix saw Renault and Alonso win to claim the first Constructors' Championship for the Renault F1 team.

In 2005, he was awarded with the Sports Prince of Asturias Award.[13]

2006
Alonso took pole position and victory at the 2006 Monaco Grand Prix
At the Canadian Grand Prix, Alonso took his 6th victory of the year.

Alonso won the first race of the 2006 Formula One season at Bahrain, overtaking Michael Schumacher after coming out of the pit lane with 18 laps left, after starting fourth. He qualified seventh at the Malaysian Grand Prix due to a fuelling error[14][15] but finished second to team mate Giancarlo Fisichella. He won the Australian Grand Prix after overtaking leader Jenson Button's Honda.

After poor qualifying at San Marino, Alonso was unable to pass Michael Schumacher in an encounter that echoed their battle the previous year. Schumacher beat Alonso again in the European Grand Prix after the Spaniard started on pole, but Alonso hit back, becoming the first Spaniard to win his home race on May 14, 2006 in the Spanish Grand Prix.

Alonso took pole position for the Monaco Grand Prix after Schumacher was penalised by the stewards for "deliberately [stopping] his car on the circuit in the last few minutes of qualifying", denying his rivals, Alonso included, the opportunity of recording fastest qualifying lap.[16] Alonso won the race.

He extended his winning streak to four races with victories in Britain and Canada. Both wins came from pole position, and the British round was his first win, pole and fastest lap treble.

Schumacher's fight back began at Indianapolis where the German won and Alonso was fifth. Schumacher won the French Grand Prix, with Alonso in second, and the Spaniard was fifth in the German Grand Prix.[17] That cut Alonso's championship lead to 11 points.

Alonso incurred a penalty for an infraction in practice at the Hungarian Grand Prix which left him 15th on the grid.[18] Schumacher started 11th after receiving a similar penalty.[19] Alonso looked set for an unlikely win as he overtook most of the field, including Schumacher around the outside of turn five, as he showed prowess in the wet conditions. But he crashed out of the race when a wheel nut fell off his car following a pit stop. Schumacher scored one point after Robert Kubica was disqualified.[20]

Alonso finished second in Turkey, holding back third-placed Schumacher to claim two vital points. But he lost a lot of ground after a controversial Italian Grand Prix. He suffered a puncture during qualifying that damaged bodywork at the back of his car. He qualified fifth but was later punished[21] by the stewards for impeding Felipe Massa's Ferrari,[22] and he started the race from the 10th position. In the race he rose to third place before an engine failure forced him to withdraw. Schumacher won the Grand Prix and cut Alonso's Championship lead to two points.

At the following round in China, Alonso took pole position during a wet qualifying session but finished second to Schumacher in the race. The result tied Alonso and Schumacher on points in the drivers championship.

At the Japanese Grand Prix, the Ferraris of Schumacher and Massa qualified first and second, more than half a second faster than the Renaults in fifth and sixth. But during the race Alonso rose to second and took the win after Schumacher's engine failed. It gave him a ten point advantage over Schumacher, needing only one point from the final round to retain the title.

Second place in the Brazilian Grand Prix on October 22 gave Alonso the championship. With Schumacher finishing fourth, the final difference was 13 points. Alonso thus became the youngest double champion in the sport's history. Renault also clinched the Constructors' Championship with a 5-point gap over Ferrari.

2007: McLaren

Alonso at the 2007 Malaysian Grand Prix, his first victory for McLaren.
Alonso finished second in the 2007 British Grand Prix.

On December 19, 2005, Fernando Alonso announced that he would be moving to McLaren for 2007.[23] His contract with Renault was set to expire on December 31, 2006. However, on December 15, 2006, Alonso was allowed by Flavio Briatore and the Renault F1 Team to test for one day for McLaren in the Jerez circuit, as a result of his successes with Renault. Driving an unbranded MP4-21 and wearing a plain white helmet and overalls, Alonso completed 95 laps.[24] Lewis Hamilton was chosen as his partner for the season. McLaren were reported to be paying Alonso £ 20 million (approx $ 39 million c. 2007) in 2007. Alonso debuted with the new McLaren car on January 15, 2007, in the streets of Valencia.

On 8 April 2007 in his second race for the team, Alonso secured his first win for McLaren, and the team's first since 2005, by leading the majority of the Malaysian Grand Prix. A difficult drive at Bahrain's Sakhir circuit on 15 April, saw him finishing 5th behind his rookie team mate who took a podium finish. In the fourth race of the year in Spain, his home grand prix, he qualified second. He had a first lap collision with Felipe Massa which caused some damage to his car and dropped him to fourth. He finished the race third. On May 27, Alonso secured his second victory for McLaren at Monaco, scoring pole position, fastest lap and the race win and in the process lapping the entire field up to 3rd position. At the Nürburgring he took his third win of the year in a dramatic race affected by intermittent rain showers, overtaking Ferrari's Felipe Massa for the lead with just four laps remaining. After the controversy at the Hungarian Grand Prix (see below), however, relations between Alonso and his team declined. It was reported in the media that he was no longer on speaking terms with Hamilton,[25] and it was speculated that he might leave McLaren at the end of the season.[26] On 7 August 2007 The Times reported that McLaren would let Alonso leave the team at the end of the season if he wished, two years earlier than his contract allowed.[27] Alonso went on to finish third in the driver's championship, level on points with team-mate Hamilton and just one point behind World Champion Kimi Räikkönen (the closest 1-2-3 in WDC history).

As part of the espionage controversy between McLaren and Ferrari, the former were found guilty of breaching the Article 151c of the FIA's sporting regulations but went unpunished due to a lack of evidence. However, following the acquisition of new evidence by the FIA, a new hearing was held on September 13. The new evidence consisted largely of email traffic between Alonso and test driver Pedro de la Rosa.[28] The FIA's World Motor Sport Council report following the hearing stated that Alonso and de la Rosa had obtained and used confidential Ferrari technical data and sporting strategy information from senior McLaren engineer Mike Coughlan via Ferrari employee Nigel Stepney, including during test sessions. Both drivers were spared sanctions in exchange for providing evidence.

On 2 November 2007, after a turbulent year with McLaren, it was announced that McLaren and Alonso had mutually agreed to terminate his contract and that he would be free to join any team for 2008 without paying McLaren any compensation.[29]

2008-2009: Return to Renault

Alonso testing for Renault in January 2008
Alonso driving for Renault at the 2008 Belgian Grand Prix.
Alonso took a surprise victory at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix

Alonso was linked with several teams for the 2008 season after his split with McLaren. Renault, Red Bull, Toyota and Honda were all suggested in the media. Renault's Flavio Briatore stated that he would welcome Alonso's return to the French team. On 10 December 2007, Alonso signed a two-year contract to drive for Renault F1 alongside Brazilian driver Nelson Piquet, Jr. for around £25 million.[30][31]

In the first two rounds of the 2008 season, the Renault was not as competitive as it had previously been. Alonso finished fourth and eighth in Australia and Malaysia respectively. After these two races, there were rumours that Alonso would leave the team because he was disappointed with his Renault and was either moving to BMW Sauber, Honda or Toyota. BMW boss Mario Theissen was keen to get Alonso to replace Nick Heidfeld in order to get the team their first win. Honda rumours started when Alonso said in an interview that he felt there was something about Honda and he wanted to drive for them in 2009 and switching to Ferrari in 2010. Toyota said they were eager to give a top driver their seat. But the most likely place that Alonso would go was to replace Felipe Massa at Ferrari in 2009, especially in light of the general belief that there was an "out clause" in Fernando Alonso's contract with Renault which would give him the freedom to move to another team for the next season should he be able to secure a deal. However Ferrari president Luca Cordero di Montezemolo stated that Massa's seat in the team was secure and would stay that way until the end of his contract in 2010.[32] Räikkönen was also given a two-year contract extension to partner Massa until the end of 2010,[33] essentially closing the door on Alonso for a possible move to Ferrari. In 2008, Alonso denied the "out clause" rumour.

In the Bahrain Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton ran into the back of Alonso's Renault, heavily damaging the rear wing of the Spaniard's car, as well as his own nosecone. Stewards did not seek to investigate the incident but critics alleged he braked (or didn't accelerate as expected) in front of Lewis Hamilton causing Hamilton to crash into him.[34] The telemetry data from Alonso's car proved these accusations to be wrong.[35] Hamilton himself stated "I was behind him, and I moved to the right, and he moved to the right and that was it - a racing incident I guess".[36] It was later revealed by McLaren that Hamilton's front wing, which was damaged when he hit Alonso earlier in the race, had broken seconds before the impact and has been identified as the cause of the crash. Alonso started the Spanish Grand Prix with promising pace, qualifying on the front row in second place behind Kimi Räikkönen even though he had a light fuel load. He was running in fifth place when the Renault V8 engine blew up with 31 laps to go in the 66 lap race. He praised his team after finishing sixth in the Turkish Grand Prix, as he was behind the more competitive BMW Sauber cars at the end, and said that the result "confirms the progress we have made, and is thanks to the hard work of everyone in the team".

Alonso qualified 7th for the Monaco Grand Prix. He ran fourth early in the race, but dropped to 10th at the finish after two incidents - puncturing a tyre against the barrier and a collision with Nick Heidfeld.

In the Canadian Grand Prix Alonso qualified fourth and was keeping up with the pace of the BMWs, who would eventually go on to record their maiden win with Robert Kubica after pitlane dramas plagued both Ferrari and McLaren-Mercedes. However, with a heavy Heidfeld in front of him and the rest of the field having pitted for their final stops, Alonso was faced with having to pass Heidfeld or risk finishing outside the points entirely. On lap 45 Alonso put a wheel off-line, onto the marbles, which made him spin and crash into the wall at turn two.

In the French Grand Prix, Alonso qualified third, aided by Lewis Hamilton's grid penalty for the pit-lane accident in Canada. However, he was on a light fuel load, and his task was made much harder by being beaten by the slower Toyota of Jarno Trulli at the start. He then faded back to seventh and towards the end of the race while catching Mark Webber's Red Bull he ran wide at the Adelaide hairpin and slipped behind team-mate Nelson Piquet, Jr. to finish eighth.

In the British Grand Prix, he qualified sixth and finished sixth, saying that he had used up all of his available tyres for the unpredictable wet conditions, and that by using practically slick tyres towards the end, he lost a lot of time in certain places on the track.

In the German Grand Prix, he had another competitive qualifying session to start fifth. However, he had another bad start to the race, and spent most of it stuck in traffic. He finished 11th, after spinning off whilst battling with the Williams of Nico Rosberg.

In the Hungarian Grand Prix, he qualified seventh and in the race, he had a better start and spent most of it in sixth, before going on to finish in fourth place, aided by Lewis Hamilton's early puncture and Felipe Massa's engine failing in the closing stages.

In the European Grand Prix, Alonso performed strongly in all three practice sessions and the first round of qualifying. However, he failed to make it through the second round of qualifying, starting 12th. During the opening lap of the race, Alonso was hit by Kazuki Nakajima in the rear wing of his R28 and sustained damage to his gearbox. His mechanics were unable to repair it and he was forced to retire from the race.

In the Belgian Grand Prix Alonso qualified sixth and ran in the top five for most of the race. When heavy rain fell towards the end of the race, he gambled on pitting for wet tyres with one lap to go. This dropped him from 4th to 8th, but a fast final lap saw him climb back to fourth - passing Kubica and Sebastian Vettel at the final corner.

In the Italian Grand Prix Alonso qualified eighth, but managed to climb four places and finished fourth in the race. This was the second consecutive fourth place after the Belgian Grand Prix, and placed Renault equal fourth in the constructors standings with Toyota.

Alonso claimed his first victory and podium of the season by winning the Singapore Grand Prix. After performing strongly in practice, a fuel pressure problem in the second part of qualifying forced him to park the car, causing him to qualify 15th. In the race he started with a light fuel load on soft tyres, and pitted early when he realised that this would not be successful. However, team-mate Piquet crashed bringing out the safety car, which eliminated the lead of the frontrunners. When they pitted after the pit lane was reopened, they rejoined behind those who had already stopped. This moved Alonso up among top six, and he ultimately won the race. This was the 50th podium and 20th win of his career. In September 2009, after being dropped by Renault, Nelson Piquet Jr. said that the crash had been intentional and had been requested by Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds. Alonso was declared to be innocent by the subsequent FIA investigation. See Crashgate.

Alonso carried his good form over to the next race, the Japanese Grand Prix, for which he qualified 4th.[37] Running on a two stop strategy Alonso won for the second time in 2008, finishing ahead of Kubica and Räikkönen.

In the last 2 races in China and Brazil, Alonso scored a fourth and a second place respectively. In the last eight races of the 2008 season Alonso scored 48 points, which was more than any other driver (over the same period Massa scored 43 points and Hamilton scored 40 points). He finished the season fifth overall with 61 points, while also enabling Renault to finish fourth in the constructors standings with 80 points, ahead of fifth-placed Toyota.

On 5 November, Flavio Briatore confirmed that Renault had agreed a two year extension on Alonso's original contract, ending speculation about a supposed move to Ferrari, and a Renault contract "out-clause".

2009

The new Renault R29 car did not meet up to Alonso's expectations at the start of the year, after it performed poorly in winter testing, despite the fact that there were no major reliability issues. For the second consecutive year, he was to be partnered by Nelson Piquet, Jr..

In the Australian Grand Prix he avoided a first lap accident and benefited from the late safety car in the closing stages (due to Robert Kubica and Sebastian Vettel colliding) to finish fifth. However, although he was pleased to score, he was "disappointed" with how his KERS system worked.

He did not score points in Malaysia due to a combination of poor pace and poor pit strategy, finishing 11th. The lack of pace from the R29 was shown early on, when he was easily passed by eventual race winner Jenson Button.

In China, he qualified in second place. However, he was again on the wrong strategy when after pitting on lap 15 at the same time the safety car came in (it was deployed at the start of the race due to heavy rain), he dropped to the rear of the field, and could only fight his way to 9th place by the finish.

In the Bahrain Grand Prix, he finished a hard-earned eighth, after struggling with a broken drinks bottle during the race, which resulted in him collapsing with dehydration during a post-race TV interview.

In the Spanish Grand Prix, he spent most of the race in sixth, despite an exciting battle with Mark Webber early on, before capitalising on Felipe Massa backing off with fuel conservation worries on the last lap, and going on to finish fifth.

In Monaco, he qualified ninth, and benefited from the retirements of Heikki Kovalainen and Sebastian Vettel to score two points for seventh after a steady performance.

He failed to score any points in Turkey, despite starting eighth (he was on the lightest fuel load of any car on the grid). After his first pit stop, he was unable to keep pace with the frontrunners, and struggled from then on to finish 10th.

In Britain, he lost places at the start, and got stuck behind Nick Heidfeld early on. Despite some good fights, especially with former teammate Lewis Hamilton, the poor pace of his car meant he was always likely to struggle for points and once again he was in the thick of the midfield, finishing in 14th, two places behind his teammate Nelson Piquet Jr.

At the Nurburgring, Alonso started poorly and lost places at the first corner, before getting stuck in traffic, but went on to score points for seventh place, and was catching the two Brawn cars of Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello towards the end. For the last stint, he was the fastest man on the track, half a second quicker than the leaders, which resulted in the fastest lap of the race.

In Hungary, he qualified on pole for the first time this season (on a short fuel load) and led for the first stint of the race until his first pit-stop, when his pit-crew fitted a wheel incorrectly. This caused a vibration on Alonso's first lap out of the pits, which led to the wheel bouncing off the car a few corners later. Additionally, a terminal fuel pump problem had already set in, leading to his retirement from the race.

At the European Grand Prix, he finished in sixth place, describing it was the best he could do, after his team appealed successfully over a one-race ban suspended for the race after the pit-stop incident in Hungary. However, his fastest race lap was slower than new team-mate Romain Grosjean (who had replaced the sacked Nelson Piquet Jr), despite the F1 rookie spending most of the race towards the back.

However, Alonso was forced to retire from the next race in Belgium in a near repeat of the front tyre incident in Hungary, although this time the tyre was damaged after contact with Adrian Sutil's Force India on the first lap. This led to a chaotic pit stop when a replacement tyre could not be fitted properly and his team chose to retire him on safety grounds to avoid a further sanction following the Hungarian incident.

At the Italian Grand Prix, he finished sixth, passing McLaren's Heikki Kovalainen during the race, despite again complaining about the car's KERS system, particularly after getting away from the grid poorly.

He finished in a strong third place in Singapore, admitting that it was a great result, "allowing to put behind us the past few weeks".[citation needed] However, this was his and Renault's only podium of 2009, a year after the Crashgate saga. Alonso controversially dedicated his podium afterwards to recently departed team boss Flavio Briatore, saying "he is part of the success we had today".[citation needed]

In Japan, he was penalised five grid places for failing to slow down for yellow flags after Sébastien Buemi crashed, scattering debris onto the track. The R29's pace was again disappointing, when he could only manage to climb up to 10th from 16th place on the grid, despite a late safety car period after Jaime Alguersuari crashed heavily. Alonso said that his race was pretty much decided in qualifying, even though his car seemed to be fairly competitive, and promised to do well in the last two races.[citation needed]

In Brazil however, he retired on the first lap when Adrian Sutil and Jarno Trulli collided, and Alonso was unable to avoid the out-of-control Force India, which had spun onto the wet grass, terminally damaging a sidepod on the Spaniard's car, forcing him to retire.

He admitted that he had wanted to end his successful period at Renault on a high at the final race of the year in Abu Dhabi. However, he spent the whole race towards the back of the grid, and finished 14th after qualifying in 16th. After the race, he admitted that he wanted "to thank the entire team for everything that we have achieved together",[citation needed] and wished to concentrate on the positives during his time with Renault, which had included winning the 2005 and 2006 world championship titles.

He finished ninth in the drivers standings, scoring all of Renault's 26 points. Renault finished eighth in the constructors ahead of Force India and Toro Rosso.

2010: Switch to Ferrari

Alonso testing the Ferrari F10 during pre-season testing in Jerez.

After much speculation,[38] on 30 September 2009, Alonso was confirmed to be replacing Kimi Räikkönen at the Ferrari team, partnering Felipe Massa,[39] a move known as "the worst-kept secret in F1".[40] His contract covers three seasons (2010-2012),[41] with speculated options until the end of 2014. Though his contract is said to have been signed as early as July 2008,[40] Alonso confirmed only having a Summer-2009 agreement with Ferrari for a 2011 start, which was later changed to 2010.[42] Ferrari and Räikkönen, whom Alonso will replace, had agreed to end their contract one year early.[41][43] Though it was reported that Alonso's contract was worth 25-million per season,[44] Ferrari released a statement that cast doubts over the salary offered, stating that "the numbers talked about have absolutely nothing to do with reality."[45] Ferrari also cast doubt on "the arrival of technicians" with Alonso.[45] At the first race in Bahrain, Alonso qualified third behind team mate Massa and pole sitter Sebastian Vettel. At the start, Alonso got ahead of Massa to move up to second and later on in the race, leader Vettel had an engine problem and dropped to fourth and Alonso won the race, becoming the fifth man to win on his debut for Ferrari after Juan Manuel Fangio in 1956, Mario Andretti in 1971, Nigel Mansell in 1989, and Kimi Räikkönen in 2007. Team mate Massa came second taking a 1-2 for Ferrari and Alonso's former McLaren team mate Lewis Hamilton came through to finish third.[46]

Controversies

  • At the 2003 European Grand Prix, David Coulthard and McLaren managing director Martin Whitmarsh accused Alonso of giving the Scottish driver a brake test. This was in relation to a passage of racing towards the end of the race when Coulthard was trying to overtake Alonso, who was holding him up. Coulthard swerved off the track and into retirement during an attempted overtake. After talking to the drivers and viewing telemetry and video data, the FIA stewards decided that the incident did not warrant any "further judicial action".[47]
  • At the 2006 Hungarian Grand Prix, Alonso was involved in an incident in which he brake tested Red Bull Racing test driver Robert Doornbos in the second free practice session. The stewards decided that Alonso’s actions were “unnecessary, unacceptable and dangerous”, and awarded him a one second time penalty to be applied to his fastest lap time in each of the qualifying sessions.[18]
  • After a separate incident from the same race, when Michael Schumacher was asked whether he thought Alonso deliberately slowed down so that Schumacher had to pass him under red flags in practice, Schumacher replied, "You said that, I didn't."[48]
  • In the 2006 Italian Grand Prix, after stewards ruled Alonso had potentially blocked Felipe Massa in Saturday qualifying and relegated him five places on the starting grid, Alonso stated "I love the sport, love the fans coming here — a lot of them from Spain but I don't consider Formula One like a sport any more".[21]
  • In the qualifying for the 2007 Hungarian Grand Prix, while both McLarens were in the pits, Alonso remained stationary in the McLaren pit for a few seconds. This delayed the then provisional pole sitter (and his team mate), Lewis Hamilton long enough to prevent him from getting another 'hot lap' in. Alonso then went on to claim pole.[49] McLaren boss Ron Dennis later said the team had got "out of sequence" when Hamilton did not as agreed allow Alonso past earlier in the qualifying session. He added that Alonso was "under the control of his engineer" when he was waiting in the pit lane.[50] However, Alonso was subsequently given a five-place grid penalty[51] and his McLaren team were docked the 15 constructors' World Championship points they would have earned in the race.[52]
  • As a result of this investigation, it emerged that some team members within McLaren, among them Alonso, were aware of confidential information belonging to the Ferrari team. This information was commented on to Alonso by McLaren test driver Pedro de la Rosa who had also received information from McLaren chief designer Mike Coughlan. The email contained text suggesting that Alonso was surprised by the data and doubted its authenticity. According to the "spygate" related email exchanges between Alonso and de la Rosa, it was clear that Alonso knew about Ferrari's pit strategies in the Australian Grand Prix and Bahrain Grand Prix. Alonso finished 2nd and 5th respectively in those races.[53] Ron Dennis told the FIA about the case during the Hungarian Grand Prix. Amid media allegations that Alonso threatened Dennis with reporting the team to FIA himself if he was not given number one driver status, Ron Dennis stated in a televised interview that there had been an argument, and that Alonso had said something in the heat of the moment but immediately apologised. This was when Dennis found out about Ferrari data and immediately informed the FIA. Pitlane sources have suggested, from published FIA stewards data, that an argument involving reporting the McLaren team to the FIA was prompted by the fact that there was no stewards' investigation regarding the Qualifying pitlane incident until Antony and Lewis Hamilton made a formal complaint on the Saturday evening; costing Alonso a five-place grid penalty and loss of Constructors' Points for the team. FIA then revealed that it had had knowledge of the Spygate case thanks to a slip made by Coughlan.[54]
  • In what became known in the media as "Crashgate", Renault allegedly ordered Alonso's teammate Nelson Piquet Jr. to crash at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix, causing a safety-car incident at a moment where Alonso would get tremendous benefit from his race strategy, putting him towards the front of the grid, and giving him a fighting chance to win the race, after a number of opponents (Felipe Massa and Robert Kubica to name a few) suffered. However, the FIA confirmed that no evidence had shown that Alonso had knowledge of the plan, and neither did many of the personal mechanics of both drivers.[55]

Fan phenomenon: Alonsomanía

In the final day of the 2005 Brazilian Grand Prix

Alonsomanía is the fan phenomenon about Alonso. In 2005 his success fuelled an increase in interest in Formula One in Spain.[56][57] On September 25, 2005, a huge party began in Alonso's home town of Oviedo when he became the country's first Formula One World Champion and the youngest in the sport's history at the time. Alonso's fans are recognized by the light blue and yellow Asturias flags[56] which are coincidentally the same colors used by the Mild Seven Renault team between 2002 and 2006. After his championship win, a widely-visited exhibition of Alonso's racing gear was held in Oviedo.[58]

Racing record

Career summary

Season Series Team Races Wins Poles F/Laps Podiums Points Position
1999 Euro Open by Nissan Campos Motorsport 15 6 9 4 8 164 1st
2000 International Formula 3000 Team Astromega 9 1 1 2 2 17 4th
2001 Formula One European Minardi F1 Team 17 0 0 0 0 0 23rd
2003 Formula One Mild Seven Renault F1 Team 16 1 2 1 4 55 6th
2004 Formula One Mild Seven Renault F1 Team 18 0 1 0 4 59 4th
2005 Formula One Mild Seven Renault F1 Team 19 7 6 2 15 133 1st
2006 Formula One Mild Seven Renault F1 Team 18 7 6 5 14 134 1st
2007 Formula One Vodafone McLaren Mercedes 17 4 2 3 12 109 3rd
2008 Formula One ING Renault F1 Team 18 2 0 0 3 61 5th
2009 Formula One ING Renault F1 Team 17 0 1 2 1 26 9th
2010 Formula One Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro 1 1 0 1 1 25* 1st*

* Season in progress.

Complete International Formula 3000 results

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 DC Points
2000 Team Astromega IMO
9
SIL
EX
CAT
15
NÜR
Ret
MON
8
MAG
Ret
A1R
6
HOC
Ret
HUN
2
SPA
1
4th 17

Complete Formula One results

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 WDC Points
2001 European Minardi F1 Team Minardi PS01 European (Cosworth) 3.0 V10 AUS
12
MAL
13
BRA
Ret
SMR
Ret
ESP
13
AUT
Ret
MON
Ret
CAN
Ret
EUR
14
FRA
17
GBR
16
GER
10
HUN
Ret
BEL
Ret
ITA
13
USA
Ret
JPN
11
23rd 0
2003 Mild Seven Renault F1 Team Renault R23 Renault RS23 3.0 V10 AUS
7
MAL
3
BRA
3
SMR
6
ESP
2
AUT
Ret
MON
5
CAN
4
EUR
4
FRA
Ret
GBR
Ret
GER
4
HUN
1
ITA
8
USA
Ret
JPN
Ret
6th 55
2004 Mild Seven Renault F1 Team Renault R24 Renault RS24 3.0 V10 AUS
3
MAL
7
BHR
6
SMR
4
ESP
4
MON
Ret
EUR
5
CAN
Ret
USA
Ret
FRA
2
GBR
10
GER
3
HUN
3
BEL
Ret
ITA
Ret
CHN
4
JPN
5
BRA
4
4th 59
2005 Mild Seven Renault F1 Team Renault R25 Renault RS25 3.0 V10 AUS
3
MAL
1
BHR
1
SMR
1
ESP
2
MON
4
EUR
1
CAN
Ret
USA
DNS
FRA
1
GBR
2
GER
1
HUN
11
TUR
2
ITA
2
BEL
2
BRA
3
JPN
3
CHN
1
1st 133
2006 Mild Seven Renault F1 Team Renault R26 Renault RS26 2.4 V8 BHR
1
MAL
2
AUS
1
SMR
2
EUR
2
ESP
1
MON
1
GBR
1
CAN
1
USA
5
FRA
2
GER
5
HUN
Ret
TUR
2
ITA
Ret
CHN
2
JPN
1
BRA
2
1st 134
2007 Vodafone McLaren Mercedes McLaren MP4-22 Mercedes FO 108T 2.4 V8 AUS
2
MAL
1
BHR
5
ESP
3
MON
1
CAN
7
USA
2
FRA
7
GBR
2
EUR
1
HUN
4
TUR
3
ITA
1
BEL
3
JPN
Ret
CHN
2
BRA
3
3rd 109
2008 ING Renault F1 Team Renault R28 Renault RS27 2.4 V8 AUS
4
MAL
8
BHR
10
ESP
Ret
TUR
6
MON
10
CAN
Ret
FRA
8
GBR
6
GER
11
HUN
4
EUR
Ret
BEL
4
ITA
4
SIN
1
JPN
1
CHN
4
BRA
2
5th 61
2009 ING Renault F1 Team Renault R29 Renault RS27 2.4 V8 AUS
5
MAL
11
CHN
9
BHR
8
ESP
5
MON
7
TUR
10
GBR
14
GER
7
HUN
Ret
EUR
6
BEL
Ret
ITA
5
9th 26
Renault F1 Team SIN
3
JPN
10
BRA
Ret
ABU
14
2010 Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro Ferrari F10 Ferrari 056 2.4 V8 BHR
1
AUS
MAL
CHN
ESP
MON
TUR
CAN
EUR
GBR
GER
HUN
BEL
ITA
SIN
JPN
KOR
BRA
ABU
1st* 25*

* Season in progress.

See also

References

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  3. ^ "2007 FIA Gala Awards Gallery". The Official Formula 1 Website. http://www.formula1.com/gallery/other/2007/202.html. Retrieved 2007-12-16. 
  4. ^ "The girls in pole position". Mail on Sunday (Associated Newspapers): p. 34. 25 February 2007. 
  5. ^ "Fernando Alonso confirms Tour de France project". auto123.com. http://www.auto123.com/en/racing-news/formula-1/f1-fernando-alonso-confirms-tour-de-france-cycling-team-project?artid=109781. 
  6. ^ "Alonso, Fernando". f1complete.com. http://www.f1complete.com/content/view/88/273/. 
  7. ^ "Fernando Alonso". f1db.com. http://www.f1db.com/f1/page/Fernando_Alonso. Retrieved 2007-09-13. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h "Who's Who: Fernando Alonso". F1Fanatic.co.uk. 2006. http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/f1-information/whos-who/whos-who-a/fernando-alonso/. Retrieved 2006-01-07. 
  9. ^ "Sauber chasing Alonso". GrandPrix.com. 11 September 2001. http://www.grandprix.com/ns/ns04843.html. Retrieved 2007-06-05. 
  10. ^ "Sauber confirms Massa". GrandPrix.com. 12 October 2001. http://www.grandprix.com/ns/ns04979.html. Retrieved 2007-06-05. 
  11. ^ Cooper, Steve (September 2007). "The hunter becomes the haunted". Autosport 189 (10): 39. 
  12. ^ "Fernando Alonso in for a ticking off". grandprix.com. 16 April 2003. http://www.grandprix.com/ns/ns11011.html. Retrieved 2007-09-13. 
  13. ^ "Fernando Alonso". The Price of Asturias Foundation. 2005. http://www.fundacionprincipedeasturias.org/ing/04/premiados/trayectorias/trayectoria805.html. Retrieved 2007-01-17. 
  14. ^ "Qualifying — selected driver quotes". The Official Formula 1 Website. 18 March 2006. http://www.formula1.com/race/news/4125/752.html. Retrieved 2007-01-22. 
  15. ^ "Malaysian Grand Prix — selected driver quotes". The Official Formula 1 Website. 19 March 2006. http://www.formula1.com/race/news/4133/752.html. Retrieved 2007-01-22. 
  16. ^ "Schumacher is stripped of pole". The Official Formula 1 Website. 2006. http://www.formula1.com/race/news/4430/757.html. Retrieved 2007-01-17. 
  17. ^ "Renault on the ropes after Hockenheim?". The Official Formula 1 Website. 30 July 2006. http://www.formula1.com/race/news/4725/762.html. Retrieved 2007-01-22. 
  18. ^ a b "Alonso receives qualifying penalties". The Official Formula 1 Website. 4 August 2006. http://www.formula1.com/race/news/4761/763.html. Retrieved 2007-01-16. 
  19. ^ "Räikkonen steals pole in Hungary". The Official Formula 1 Website. 2006. http://www.formula1.com/race/news/4768/763.html. Retrieved 2007-01-17. 
  20. ^ "Hungarian Grand Prix 2006 review". F1Fanatic.co.uk. 6 August 2006. http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2006/08/06/hungarian-grand-prix-2006-review/. Retrieved 2007-08-15. 
  21. ^ a b "Fuming Alonso says F1 is no longer a sport". F1racing.net. 10 September 2006. http://www.f1racing.net/en/news/2006/09/10/fuming_alonso_says_f1_is_no_longer_a_sport/. Retrieved 2007-01-16. 
  22. ^ "Alonso punished for blocking Massa". The Official Formula 1 Website. 2006. http://www.formula1.com/race/news/4923/765.html. Retrieved 2007-01-17. 
  23. ^ "Alonso in shock move to McLaren". The Official Formula 1 Website. 2005. http://www.formula1.com/news/3888.html. Retrieved 2007-01-17. 
  24. ^ "Jerez day four — Hamilton on form in Spain". The Official Formula 1 Website. 2006. http://www.formula1.com/news/5422.html. Retrieved 2007-01-17. 
  25. ^ "Hungarian GP — Alonso not speaking to Hamilton". uk.eurosport.yahoo.com. 6 August 2007. http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/06082007/58/hungarian-gp-alonso-speaking-hamilton.html. Retrieved 2007-08-06. 
  26. ^ "Alonso's future at McLaren in doubt". autosport.com. 6 August 2007. http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/61422. Retrieved 2007-08-06. 
  27. ^ Gorman, Edward (7 August 2007). "McLaren may lose Alonso if he cannot work with Hamilton". The Times (London: Times Newspapers). http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/formula_1/article2211563.ece. Retrieved 2007-08-07. 
  28. ^ "Letter confirms drivers had new evidence". autosport.com. 7 September 2007. http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/62097. Retrieved 2007-09-07. 
  29. ^ "Alonso Press Release". Vodafone McLaren Mercedes. 2 November 2007. http://www.mclaren.co.uk/mediaroom/information/pressreleases/alonso_release.php. Retrieved 2007-11-02. 
  30. ^ Fernando Alonso to re-sign for Renault www.telegraph.co.uk Retrieved 10 December 2007
  31. ^ Renault confirms 2008 driver line-up Alonso and Piquet http://f1.gpupdate.net/en/ Retrieved 10 December 2007
  32. ^ Lostia, Michele; Beer, Matt (24 October 2007). "Di Montezemolo says Massa was his choice". Autosport.com. http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/63633. Retrieved 2009-09-30. 
  33. ^ "Ferrari confirm Raikkonen to end of 2010". Formula1.com. 12 September 2008. http://www.formula1.com/news/headlines/2008/9/8365.html. Retrieved 2008-09-14. 
  34. ^ "Massa wins as Ferrari dominates in desert". ITV. 6 April 2008. http://www.itv-f1.com/news_article.aspx?id=42246. Retrieved 2008-04-06. 
  35. ^ "Renault rubbish 'brake test' suggestions". Autosport. 6 April 2008. http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/66448. Retrieved 2008-04-06. 
  36. ^ "Bahrain Grand Prix - selected driver quotes". Formula1.com. 6 April 2008. http://www.formula1.com/news/headlines/2008/4/7608.html. Retrieved 2008-04-06. 
  37. ^ Japanese Grand Prix BBC Sport'.' Retrieved 11 October 2008.
  38. ^ "Hamilton eyes Alonso-Ferrari F1 challenge". AFP. Yahoo! News. 10 September 2009. http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090910/wl_uk_afp/autoprixhamilton. Retrieved 2009-09-30. 
  39. ^ Beer, Matt (30 September 2009). "Ferrari confirms three-year Alonso deal". Autosport.com. http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/79061. Retrieved 2009-09-30. 
  40. ^ a b Benson, Andrew (30 September 2009). "Ferrari confirm capture of Alonso". BBC Sport. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/motorsport/formula_one/8280566.stm. Retrieved 2009-09-30. 
  41. ^ a b Ferrari S.p.A. (30 September 2009). "Press Release". Press release. http://www.ferrari.com/English/News/Pages/090930_F1_News_1.aspx. Retrieved 2009-09-30. 
  42. ^ Ferrari S.p.A. (30 September 2009). "Fernando Alonso to Ferrari.com: "Very happy and very proud "". Press release. http://www.ferrari.com/English/News/Pages/090930_Fernando_Alonso.aspx. Retrieved 2009-09-30. 
  43. ^ Ferrari S.p.A. (30 September 2009). "Domenicali: "Alonso, the right choice for the future"". Press release. http://www.ferrari.com/English/News/Pages/090930_F1_Domenicali.aspx. Retrieved 2009-09-30. 
  44. ^ "Alonso 'to sign five-year F1 deal with Ferrari". AFP. 29 September 2009. http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jYB6CaeYMH-Q2pssp7lP-asVFE_g. Retrieved 2009-09-30. 
  45. ^ a b Ferrari S.p.A. (30 September 2009). "Gold rush". Press release. http://www.ferrari.com/English/News/Pages/090930_F1_Gold_rush.aspx. Retrieved 2009-09-30. 
  46. ^ {{cite news|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/motorsport/formula_one/8566770.stm|title=Fernando Alonso leads Ferrari one-two in Bahrain |date=2010-03-14|work=[[BBC Sport]|publisher=BBC|first=Andrew|last=Benson|accessdate=2010-03-14}}
  47. ^ "The Coulthard-Alonso incident". Grand Prix. 1 July 2003. http://www.grandprix.com/ns/ns11426.html. Retrieved 2007-01-16. 
  48. ^ "Schumi hints at foul play". F1racing.net. 5 August 2006. http://www.f1racing.net/en/news/2006/08/05/schumi_hints_at_foul_play/. Retrieved 2007-01-16. 
  49. ^ "Hungarian Grand Prix 2007 — Qualifying". news.bbc.co.uk. 5 August 2007. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/6929333.stm. Retrieved 2007-08-06. 
  50. ^ "Dennis: Hamilton triggered incident". autosport.com. 4 August 2007. http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/61368. Retrieved 2007-08-06. 
  51. ^ "Alonso demoted to sixth in Hungary". autosport.com. 4 August 2007. http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/61370. Retrieved 2007-08-04. 
  52. ^ "Alonso punished for Hamilton move". British Broadcasting Corp.. 4 August 2007. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/6929333.stm. Retrieved 2007-08-04. 
  53. ^ "Dennis tipped off FIA about evidence". 14 September 2007. http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/62376. Retrieved 2007-09-20. 
  54. ^ Elizalde, Pablo (19 September 2007). "Transcript highlights Dennis/Alonso row". http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/62548. Retrieved 2007-09-20. 
  55. ^ "Capitulation by Renault - it is all true. Can you believe it?". Times Online. 16 September 2009. http://timesonline.typepad.com/formula_one/2009/09/capitulation-by-renault-it-is-all-true-can-you-believe-it.html. Retrieved 2009-09-16. 
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External links

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Marc Gené
Euro Open Movistar by Nissan
Champion

1999
Succeeded by
Antonio García
Preceded by
Régis Laconi
Yvan Muller
Gilles Panizzi
Race of Champions
Nations' Cup

2001 with:
Jesús Puras
Rubén Xaus
Succeeded by
Colin Edwards
Jeff Gordon
Jimmie Johnson
Preceded by
Michael Schumacher
Formula One World Champion
2005-2006
Succeeded by
Kimi Räikkönen
Preceded by
Kimi Räikkönen
Monaco Grand Prix Winner
2006-2007
Succeeded by
Lewis Hamilton
Awards
Preceded by
Hicham El Guerrouj
Prince of Asturias Award (Sports)
2005
Succeeded by
Spain national basketball team
Preceded by
Kimi Räikkönen
Lorenzo Bandini Trophy
2005
Succeeded by
Mark Webber
Preceded by
Kimi Räikkönen
Autosport
International Driver of the Year

2006
Succeeded by
Lewis Hamilton
Records
Preceded by
Rubens Barrichello
22 years, 97 days
(1994 Belgian GP)
Youngest Grand Prix Pole Position
Winner

21 years, 236 days
(2003 Malaysian Grand Prix)
Succeeded by
Sebastian Vettel
21 years, 72 days
(2008 Italian GP)
Preceded by
Jimmy Davies
21 years, 285 days
(1951 Indianapolis 500)
Youngest Race Leader,
For at least one lap in Formula One

21 years, 237 days
(2003 Malaysian Grand Prix)
Succeeded by
Sebastian Vettel
20 years, 89 days
(2007 Japanese GP)
Preceded by
Ralf Schumacher
21 years, 287 days
(1997 Argentine GP)
Youngest Driver to score a
Podium Position in Formula One

21 years, 237 days
(2003 Malaysian Grand Prix)
Succeeded by
Sebastian Vettel
21 years, 73 days
(2008 Italian GP)
Preceded by
Bruce McLaren
21 years, 322 days
(1959 British GP)
Youngest driver to set
Fastest Lap in Formula One

21 years, 321 days
(2003 Canadian Grand Prix)
Succeeded by
Nico Rosberg
20 years, 258 days
(2006 Bahrain GP)
Preceded by
Troy Ruttman
22 years, 80 days
(1952 Indianapolis 500)
Youngest Grand Prix Race
Winner

22 years, 26 days
(2003 Hungarian Grand Prix)
Succeeded by
Sebastian Vettel
21 years, 73 days
(2008 Italian GP)
Preceded by
Emerson Fittipaldi
25 years, 273 days
(1972 season)
Youngest Formula One
World Drivers' Champion

24 years, 58 days
(2005 season)
Succeeded by
Lewis Hamilton
23 years, 300 days
(2008 season)


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Fernando Alonso Díaz (born on July 29, 1981) is a Spanish Formula One racing driver and two-time world champion. He won his first World Driver's Championship title at the age of 24 years and 59 days, thus breaking Emerson Fittipaldi's record of being the youngest F1 champion.

Contents

Sourced

  • It has been a fantastic weekend and now I probably need some time to believe I'm champion again. I'm 25 years old and I've won two drivers' championships and two constructors' titles with Renault. With this being my last race for Renault after five years with them, what a fantastic way to finish my relationship. I will have these memories all my life, winning both titles, the emotion, the atmosphere in the garage. We grew up together and now we have won both championships in two consecutive years. The years I have had with Renault, I will never forget. To finish the last race the way we have is something you never dream of. You never even try to dream of it because it's always more than what you expected.
    • About leaving the Renault team [1] (October 23, 2006)
  • It was fantastic to fight with Michael, a privilege for me. I said in 2005 that it was important to become Champion when Michael was still there, for the value and the recognition that people outside the sport would give to the championship. But people said we did not fight directly in 2005; this year, it was me versus Michael all year. The history books will say that the last two Championships he raced in were won by Alonso, and that makes me very proud. It was a pleasure to compete against him.
    • About racing against, and beating, Michael Schumacher [2] (December 13, 2006)
  • What I have felt at McLaren is good professionalism, a team that is very determined and focused on the championship. There is a new atmosphere within the team, and I saw that when I went to the factory and met all the people. They are so excited. They really think that after a few years without success, this is the year to come back. No-one has doubts. That was a complete surprise to me, yet from my point of view, it was great to see all that optimism, and I feel more ambitious now - a completely new man. Sometimes after a tough season and when the winter arrives, you want to test as late as possible, to be on your holidays as much as you can. But now it's the opposite. I want to be in the car. I feel like when I arrived in Formula One six years ago. I just want to drive.
    • About joining a McLaren team that failed to win a grand prix the previous season for the first time in a decade. [3] (January 16, 2007)

Unsourced

  • For me it's a simple sport and a simple way to live these seven or eight years of maximum sport.
  • For me, it was not destiny to make it to where I am now - I thought for a long- time I would become a go-kart mechanic, or a job like this, not an F1 driver.
  • I am very proud of what we have built in Spain, because it is not a traditional Formula 1 country. I think we have found passionate fans, and built up a strong culture for the sport - and things are improving every day, with more and more people getting interested.
  • I have always been very calm on the outside. I'm not too stressed now just because I'm in formula one. For me, tomorrow will be another day whether I finish first or last. I have to do the maximum and I cannot ask any more from myself.
  • I like America, and I think probably the American people like me.
  • I look at myself as someone who has been very lucky - my job is also what I enjoy most in the world, and I can make my life doing it.
  • My parents are responsible for the two things I like doing most - driving and magic tricks. They bought me my first go-kart and a magician's kit.
  • Alonso: Fisico is in front of me, what more I have to do?
  • Pit Crew: We know you're faster, overtake him! (Fernando promptly puts his foot down and passes Giancarlo)
    • Conversation between Alonso and his Pit Chief during 2005 Belgian Grand Prix
  • What I mean is that I am not demoralised, I am not sad, I am simply in delay. It's like in the Tour (de France). I'm now in the stage where I am reserving my energy for the mountains, because it's then that I am going to be on top.

- On being asked if he is frustrated for not having a winning car.

About Fernando Alonso

  • I cannot find a single weakness in Alonso from any viewpoint. He's obviously a huge asset to the Renault team but more importantly a huge asset to the sport as a whole. I think he is perfect.
  • He is a driver with talent, ability and maturity, he manages to finish all his races. My record is going to be in good hands.
  • He's a very, very talented driver. It's nice to have drivers like this boy Alonso. He's got a Formula 1 drive for next year so I'm really pleased for him.
    • Kart legend Mike Wilson, 2000 [6]

External links

Wikipedia
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Fernando Alonso
File:Fernando Alonso 2010
Alonso at the 2010 Malaysian Grand Prix
Nationality Spanish
Date of birth 29 July 1981 (1981-07-29) (age 29)
Formula One World Championship career
2011 team Ferrari
2011 car # 5
Races 159 (158 starts)
Championships 2 (2005, 2006)
Wins 26
Podiums 63
Career points 829
Pole positions 20
Fastest laps 18
First race 2001 Australian Grand Prix
First win 2003 Hungarian Grand Prix
Last win 2010 German Grand Prix
Last race 2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
2010 position 2nd (252 points)

Fernando Alonso Díaz (born July 29, 1981 in Oviedo, Spain) is a racing driver in Formula One. He is from Spain. He won his first F1 title in 2005 and became the then youngest ever Formula 1 World Champion at the age of 24.

Alonso drove until 2006 in Formula 1 for the Renault F1-Team, with which he achieved the driver world championship in the year 2005 and had a major part to play in the Renault F1 Team winning the constructor championship in the same year.

The Drivers' Championship was won again by Fernando with Renault F1 for the second year in a row in 2006 (interestingly, had Alonso not become the youngest World Champion in 2005, he would have still achieved this feat with his 2006 victory) edging out Michael Schumacher of Scuderia Ferrari by 13 points. Renault also retained the Constructor's Championship, beating Ferrari by only five points.

In 2007 Alonso joined Team Vodafone McLaren-Mercedes and entered a four way battle for the World Championship with his team-mate, the rookie Lewis Hamilton, and Ferrari drivers Kimi Räikkönen and Felipe Massa. Halfway through the season, with wins in Sepang and Monaco, Alonso trails his rookie team-mate by 14 points. The second half of the season should prove interesting. In the second part Alonso won at Europe and Italy but missed the title by 1 point.

Contents

Racing record

Career summary

Season Series Team Races Wins Poles F/Laps Podiums Points Position
1999 Euro Open by Nissan Campos Motorsport 15 6 9 4 8 164 1st
2000 International Formula 3000 Team Astromega 9 1 1 2 2 17 4th
2001 Formula One European Minardi F1 Team 17 0 0 0 0 0 23rd
2002 Formula One Mild Seven Renault F1 Team Test Driver
2003 Formula One Mild Seven Renault F1 Team 16 1 2 1 4 55 6th
2004 Formula One Mild Seven Renault F1 Team 18 0 1 0 4 59 4th
2005 Formula One Mild Seven Renault F1 Team 19 7 6 2 15 133 1st
2006 Formula One Mild Seven Renault F1 Team 18 7 6 5 14 134 1st
2007 Formula One Vodafone McLaren Mercedes 17 4 2 3 12 109 3rd
2008 Formula One ING Renault F1 Team 18 2 0 0 3 61 5th
2009 Formula One ING Renault F1 Team 17 0 1 2 1 26 9th
2010 Formula One Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro 19 5 2 5 10 252 2nd

* Season in progress.

Complete International Formula 3000 results

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 DC Points
2000 Team Astromega IMO
9
SIL
EX
CAT
15
NÜR
Ret
MON
8
MAG
Ret
A1R
6
HOC
Ret
HUN
2
SPA
1
4th 17

Complete Formula One results

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 WDC Points
2001 European Minardi F1 Team Minardi PS01 European (Cosworth) 3.0 L V10 AUS
12
MAL
13
BRA
Ret
SMR
Ret
ESP
13
AUT
Ret
MON
Ret
CAN
Ret
EUR
14
FRA
17
GBR
16
GER
10
HUN
Ret
BEL
Ret
ITA
13
USA
Ret
JPN
11
23rd 0
2003 Mild Seven Renault F1 Team Renault R23 Renault RS23 3.0 L V10 AUS
7
MAL
3
BRA
3
SMR
6
ESP
2
AUT
Ret
MON
5
CAN
4
EUR
4
FRA
Ret
GBR
Ret
GER
4
HUN
1
ITA
8
USA
Ret
JPN
Ret
6th 55
2004 Mild Seven Renault F1 Team Renault R24 Renault RS24 3.0 L V10 AUS
3
MAL
7
BHR
6
SMR
4
ESP
4
MON
Ret
EUR
5
CAN
Ret
USA
Ret
FRA
2
GBR
10
GER
3
HUN
3
BEL
Ret
ITA
Ret
CHN
4
JPN
5
BRA
4
4th 59
2005 Mild Seven Renault F1 Team Renault R25 Renault RS25 3.0 L V10 AUS
3
MAL
1
BHR
1
SMR
1
ESP
2
MON
4
EUR
1
CAN
Ret
USA
DNS
FRA
1
GBR
2
GER
1
HUN
11
TUR
2
ITA
2
BEL
2
BRA
3
JPN
3
CHN
1
1st 133
2006 Mild Seven Renault F1 Team Renault R26 Renault RS26 2.4 L V8 BHR
1
MAL
2
AUS
1
SMR
2
EUR
2
ESP
1
MON
1
GBR
1
CAN
1
USA
5
FRA
2
GER
5
HUN
Ret
TUR
2
ITA
Ret
CHN
2
JPN
1
BRA
2
1st 134
2007 Vodafone McLaren Mercedes McLaren MP4-22 Mercedes FO 108T 2.4 L V8 AUS
2
MAL
1
BHR
5
ESP
3
MON
1
CAN
7
USA
2
FRA
7
GBR
2
EUR
1
HUN
4
TUR
3
ITA
1
BEL
3
JPN
Ret
CHN
2
BRA
3
3rd 109
2008 ING Renault F1 Team Renault R28 Renault RS27 2.4 L V8 AUS
4
MAL
8
BHR
10
ESP
Ret
TUR
6
MON
10
CAN
Ret
FRA
8
GBR
6
GER
11
HUN
4
EUR
Ret
BEL
4
ITA
4
SIN
1
JPN
1
CHN
4
BRA
2
5th 61
2009 ING Renault F1 Team Renault R29 Renault RS27 2.4 L V8 AUS
5
MAL
11
CHN
9
BHR
8
ESP
5
MON
7
TUR
10
GBR
14
GER
7
HUN
Ret
EUR
6
BEL
Ret
ITA
5
9th 26
Renault F1 Team SIN
3
JPN
10
BRA
Ret
ABU
14
2010 Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro Ferrari F10 Ferrari 056 2.4 L V8 BHR
1
AUS
4
MAL
13
CHN
4
ESP
2
MON
6
TUR
8
CAN
3
EUR
8
GBR
14
GER
1
HUN
2
BEL
Ret
ITA
1
SIN
1
JPN
3
KOR
1
BRA
3
ABU
7
2nd 252
2011 Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro Ferrari Ferrari 2.4 L V8 BHR
AUS
MAL
CHN
TUR
ESP
MON
CAN
EUR
GBR
GER
HUN
BEL
ITA
SIN
JPN
KOR
IND
ABU
BRA
NC 0

* Season in progress.

bjn:Fernando Alonso







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