Fernando Alonso was born to a working-class family on 29 July 1981 in Oviedo, Asturias, Spain. He raced in Formula One under the Spanish flag and won the Formula One World Drivers’ Championship in 2005 and 2006. He also won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2018 and 2019 and the 24 Hours of Daytona in 2019. In 2018-9, he won the FIA World Endurance Championship. He has driven for Aston Martin, Alpine, McLaren, Ferrari and Minardi in Formula One.
Fernando Alonso started go-karting at an early age of three and won his first karting race at the age of seven. He was the junior champion of the Asturias and Galacia counties when he was eight and progressed to Cadet class in 1990. Genís Marcó, a go-kart importer, found financial support for Alonso and mentored him. He made sure that Alonso was able to compete in the European series.
Mentored by Mike Wilson, the six-time Karting World Champion, Alonso won the Asturias and Basque County Cadet Championship in 1990. In 1991, he finished runner up in the Spanish National Cadet Championship. Alonso went on to win three Spanish Junior National Championships from 1993 to 1995. He finished third in the CIK-FIA Cadets’ Rainbow Trophy.
In 1996 Alonso took his fourth Spanish Junior Karting Championship. He also won the Trofeo Estival, the Marlboro Masters and the CIK-FIA 5 Continents Junior Cup. Alonso won the Italian and Spanish International A championships and finished second in the European Championship, the Masters Karting Paris Bercy and the Spanish Karting Championship.
Fernando Alonso’s Career In Formula 1
In 1999, Fernando Alonso won his first motor racing title, the Euro Open by Nissan with Campos Motorsport. In 2000, he progressed to the International Formula 3000 Championship Team Astromega, a team backed by Minardi, In the competition, he won the Hungaroring and Spa-Francorchamps to finish fourth with 17 points.
Minardi and Renault (2001-2006)
As a result of winning the 1999 Euro Open by Nissan, Alonso got an opportunity to a test in a Formula One car. He served as Minardi’s test and reserve driver in 2000 and joined its Formula One team in 2001. Alonso’s best finish was a tenth place in Germany and finished the season in the 23rd place having scored no points.
In 2002, Alonso joined Renault as a test driver and worked in the engineering department to improve Giancarlo Fisichella and Jenson Button’s cars. He tested in Spain and Britain and drove a Jaguar in an evaluation at Silverstone. Alonso was promoted to the Formula One team in 2003.
In the 2003 Formula One World Championship, Alonso became the youngest driver to win the pole position in Malaysia. At the Hungaroring, he became the youngest driver to win a Grand Prix. He got 55 points in the championship with four podium finishes and was placed sixth in the ratings.
Persisting with Renault in 2004, Alonso had no victories in any of the season’s races. On his way to the fourth place in the championship, he finished third in the Australian Grand Prix. Alonso had three more podium finishes and pole position in France. Alonso continued with Renault in 2005.
In 2005, the FIA had brought in new rules. The car engines had to last for at least two races and teams could not change tyres during a race. Alonso had to fight off Kimi Räikkönen’s McLaren to win the Formula One World Drivers’ Championship for the first time. Alonso, in a more reliable car, had seven podium finishes including seven victories on his way to the Championship.
Alonso had signed a contract with Renault in 2005 for the 2006 season. He romped through the first nine races with six victories and three second-place finishes. The FIA then banned Renaut’s tuned mass damper and allowed development in Michael Schumacher’s Ferrari to even competition.
This saw both the drivers on equal points before the penultimate race in Japan. But Schumacher had to retire in Japan due to engine failure when leading the field. Alonso now needed only one point in the last Brazilian Grand Prix to clinch the championship title. Alonso did that by finishing second and became Formula One’s youngest double World Champion.
Although Renault did not release Alonso in 2006 he had an understanding with Ron Dennis, the McLaren boss, from a secret meeting in Japan. He joined McLaren for the 2007 season. By the end of the Italian Grand Prix, Alonso had won four race. He was trailing his teammate, Lewis Hamilton by four points and leading Kimi Räikkönen by three.
But there were problems in the McLaren team including the espionage scandal. Alonso and Hamilton also had differences that led Alonso to block Hamilton in the pits during the race in Hungary. Alonso finished the season behind Kimi Räikkönen and with equal points with Lewis Hamilton. Hamilton was awarded the second place because he had earned more second-place finishes than Alonso.
Alonso went back to his old team, Renault for the 2008 season. Alonso’s car suffered from a lack of speed due to the development moratorium. He managed to garner only 9 points from the first 7 races. Because of aerodynamic development to his car, Alonso won two races in Singapore and Japan and finished fifth in the championship that season.
In 2009, the Renault car lacked sheer speed and a dual diffuser system. Alonso achieved a third-place finish in the 13th race in Singapore. He scored points in 8 races and earned a pole position in Hungary but had to retire due to a wrongly fitted tyre. Alonso finished the season in the 9th place, his worst ranking in the championship in his career.
Alonso had signed an agreement with Ferrari to drive for them in 2011. The contract was brought forward to 2010 when Ferrari had to let go Räikkönen. Alonso was leading the championship list by 8 points when he went into the final race in Abu Dhabi. A strategy error by Ferrari meant that Alonso was not able to pass Renault’s Vitaly Petrov and finished second in the championship despite five victories.
In 2011, Alonso again had to put up with lack of aerodynamic grip and poor tyre handling. He won the British Grand Prix thanks to a strategy error by Red Bull. Alonso earned ten more podium positions and was in contention for the second place in the championship. But Mark Webber won the Brazilian Grand Prix and Alonso finished fourth both in the race and the championship.
In 2012, Ferrari extended Alonso’s contract till 2016. Alonso built a lead of 46 points in the Drivers’ Championship with wins in Malaysia, Valencia and Germany. Alonso was afflicted with mechanical problems, and start line collisions and lost the lead to Sebastian Vettel. He needed to finish at least third in the last race in Brazil and Vettel not to score any points. Alonso did finish second. But Vettel finished fourth, taking the title and Alonso finished second.
Alonso finished second for the third time in his career in 2013. He won in China and Spain and earned points consistently. A change in the tyre compound rendered his car slower, from the German Grand Prix onwards. Alonso was disenchanted with Ferrari and believed that they couldn’t build a title-winning car.
In 2014, Mercedes cars gained an advantage over the others with the introduction of V-6, turbocharged engines. Alonso could not win any Grand Prix but finished third in China and second in Hungary. He finished the championship race in the sixth place with 161 points. Alonso had differences with the Ferrari team and left in 2014 to re-join McLaren on a three-year contract.
In his first year at McLaren in 2015, Alonso suffered a concussion in an accident in a test session. He was replaced during the Australian Grand Prix by a reserve driver. He then discovered that the car’s Honda engine lacked power and speed. He managed only 11 points over the season finishing a dismal 17th in the Drivers’ Championship.
Injuries sustained at the 2016 Australian Grand Prix kept Alonso from competing in the Bahrain Grand Prix. Alonso scored nine points that season and managed to coax speed from his car, qualifying ahead of teammate, Jenson Button, fifteen times. Two fifth-place finishes in Monaco and the United States saw Alonso finish 10th in the championship.
Unreliability of the McLaren car again affected Alonso’s 2017 season during the first half of the season. A seventh-place finish in Hungary was his best before the summer break. He earned three consecutive top-ten finishes thereafter, and ended the season in the 15th championship place with a tally of 17 points.
In the 2018 season, Alonso finished 5th in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix. he out-qualified his teammate Stoffel Vandoorne in every race and achieved 9 top-ten finishes. McLaren stopped developing Alonso’s car to focus on the 2019 season. Alonso finished the 2018 season in the 11th place with 50 points. His commitment to Formula One racing wanned, Alonso left the sport the sport as a driver at the end of the 2019 season.
Alonso, however, remained at McLaren as a brand ambassador. He aided and advised drivers and drove in select test sessions. His contract with McLaren, valid till 2019, was not renewed. In 2020, Alonso competed in the Indianapolis 500 and the Dakar Rally.
Fernando Alonso’s 2021 Formula 1 season marked his return to the sport with the Alpine F1 Team, after a two-year hiatus. The two-time world champion’s comeback was one of the most anticipated storylines of the season, as fans and pundits were eager to see how he would perform.
Team and Expectations: Alonso joined Alpine F1 Team, rebranded from Renault, where he had previously won his two world championships. The expectations were mixed; while Alonso’s talent was undeniable, his return at the age of 39 led to questions about how competitive he could be against much younger drivers and in a midfield team.
Season Overview: Alonso’s season was characterized by a gradual improvement in performance. The early races saw him getting reacquainted with the sport’s demands, but as the season progressed, Alonso demonstrated why he is considered one of the best drivers in Formula 1 history.
Key Highlights and Results:
- Bahrain Grand Prix: Alonso’s comeback race ended prematurely due to a brake issue caused by a sandwich wrapper getting lodged in his car’s brake duct.
- Emilia Romagna Grand Prix: In a challenging wet race at Imola, Alonso finished outside the points, highlighting the early season struggles to adapt to the Alpine A521.
- Portuguese Grand Prix: Alonso showed glimpses of his old self, making up several positions to finish in the points, a performance he described as one of his best.
- Azerbaijan Grand Prix: Alonso’s racecraft was on full display in Baku, where he made up four places in the final two laps to finish sixth.
- Hungarian Grand Prix: Alonso played a crucial role in the race’s outcome by defending against Lewis Hamilton for several laps, which contributed to his teammate Esteban Ocon’s maiden win. Alonso finished fourth, his best result of the season.
- Qatar Grand Prix: Alonso secured his first podium since 2014, finishing third in a race that showcased his experience and strategic acumen.
Challenges: Throughout the season, Alonso and Alpine worked to find the right balance and performance from their car. While the A521 showed potential, it was not consistently competitive against the leading midfield teams, which limited Alonso’s opportunities for higher finishes.
Season Conclusion: Alonso’s 2021 season was a testament to his skill, determination, and influence within a team. Finishing 10th in the drivers’ championship, he contributed significantly to Alpine’s fifth place in the constructors’ standings. His performances, particularly in the second half of the season, silenced any doubts about his ability to compete at the highest level of motorsport.
Alonso’s return to Formula 1 with Alpine was marked by steady progress, memorable battles, and a podium finish that underscored his status as one of the sport’s all-time greats. His 2021 season laid a solid foundation for his and Alpine’s ambitions in the years to come.
Fernando Alonso’s 2022 Formula 1 season was one of resilience and flashes of brilliance, showcasing the two-time world champion’s undiminished skill and competitive spirit. Returning to the sport in 2021 with Alpine, Alonso continued with the team into 2022, aiming to capitalize on the new technical regulations to push further up the grid.
Team and Expectations: Alonso and Alpine entered the 2022 season with cautious optimism. The introduction of sweeping technical changes presented an opportunity for the team to make significant strides. Alonso, known for his ability to extract the maximum from any car, was expected to play a crucial role in the team’s ambitions to challenge for higher positions and potentially podiums.
Season Overview: The 2022 season saw Alonso often outperforming the Alpine A522’s perceived capabilities, especially in qualifying. However, the team’s overall competitiveness varied from race to race, with reliability issues and race incidents sometimes hindering potential top finishes.
Key Highlights and Results:
- Bahrain Grand Prix: Alonso started the season strongly, showing promising pace during the weekend. However, his efforts were hampered by reliability issues, a recurring theme that would impact his season.
- Australian Grand Prix: In Melbourne, Alonso demonstrated his prowess by qualifying in a strong position. Unfortunately, a grid penalty and subsequent race incidents limited his points haul.
- Canadian Grand Prix: Alonso’s performance in Montreal was a highlight, securing a front-row start in qualifying. Despite not being able to convert this into a podium finish, his performance underlined his and the car’s potential.
- Qatar Grand Prix: Another standout moment came in Qatar, where Alonso’s strategic acumen and tire management shone, allowing him to secure valuable points for the team.
- Reliability and Luck: Alonso’s season was marred by reliability issues with the Alpine car, as well as moments of bad luck that cost him potential podiums and higher points finishes.
- Intra-Team Dynamics: Alonso’s relationship with his teammate Esteban Ocon was professional, but the pair were closely matched on track, leading to some tense moments as they battled for supremacy within the team.
- Overall Performance: Alonso’s 2022 campaign was a testament to his enduring talent and determination. While not always reflected in the final standings, his ability to challenge much faster cars and secure points consistently was a highlight of Alpine’s season.
- Contribution to the Team: Alonso played a vital role in developing the Alpine A522, contributing valuable feedback and experience that helped the team progress throughout the year. His mentorship of Ocon and leadership within the team were invaluable, even as he sought more competitive results.
- Future Prospects: Ending the 2022 season, Alonso’s announcement of his move to Aston Martin for the 2023 season marked the end of his current tenure with Alpine. His decision was driven by a desire for a new challenge and the opportunity to lead a team with ambitious goals for the future.
Alonso’s 2022 season was a showcase of his skill, experience, and unyielding competitive spirit. Despite the challenges, he remained a formidable competitor on the grid, with his move to Aston Martin setting the stage for the next chapter in his illustrious career.
Aston Martin (2023 – )
Fernando Alonso’s 2023 Formula 1 season marked a significant chapter in his illustrious career, as he joined Aston Martin alongside Lance Stroll, driven by the desire for a multi-year contract which Alpine was hesitant to offer. This move was not just a change of scenery for Alonso but a strategic step aimed at leveraging Aston Martin’s potential in the evolving competitive landscape of Formula 1.
Season Highlights and Performance:
- Aston Martin Debut: Alonso’s debut with Aston Martin at the Bahrain Grand Prix was nothing short of dramatic. Despite a first-lap contact with teammate Lance Stroll, Alonso showcased his resilience and racecraft, finishing in 3rd place. This podium was Aston Martin’s first since 2021, echoing the team’s ambitions and Alonso’s capability to lead its charge.
- Consistent Podium Finishes: The early part of the season saw Alonso in formidable form, securing a podium finish again at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, despite a penalty for a grid position violation. This race marked his 100th career podium, a testament to his longevity and skill at the pinnacle of motorsport.
- Challenges and Recovery: Alonso’s season was characterized by a blend of highs and lows. Incidents like the collision with Carlos Sainz Jr. at the Australian Grand Prix and a challenging Azerbaijan Grand Prix, where DRS issues hampered his qualifying, highlighted the competitive challenges faced by Alonso and Aston Martin.
- Mid-Season Performance: As the season progressed, Alonso continued to extract the maximum from the Aston Martin AMR23, despite the car’s fluctuating performance. Notable achievements included two more podium finishes at Zandvoort and São Paulo, with the latter featuring a thrilling battle edging out Sergio Pérez by a mere 0.053 seconds.
- Season Conclusion: Alonso concluded the 2023 season fourth in the driver standings, amassing 206 points. This achievement marked his highest finish since 2013 and underscored his impact at Aston Martin, significantly outperforming his teammate Stroll, who gathered 74 points.
Analysis: Alonso’s 2023 season with Aston Martin was a showcase of his undiminished talent and adaptability. His immediate impact, highlighted by multiple podium finishes, was instrumental in Aston Martin’s competitive resurgence. Despite facing challenges, including strategic and operational setbacks, Alonso’s experience and strategic mind were evident in how he maximized opportunities.
The season also reflected Alonso’s role as a team leader, driving Aston Martin’s development forward and mentoring his less experienced teammate. His fourth-place finish in the 2023 F1 Driver Standings, in a highly competitive field, was a remarkable achievement and a statement of intent for the following seasons.
Looking ahead, Alonso’s performance sets a solid foundation for his and Aston Martin’s ambitions. With a multi-year deal in place, the partnership has the potential to further disrupt the established order in Formula 1, aiming for more podiums and possibly victories in the seasons to come. Alonso’s journey with Aston Martin is a compelling narrative of resilience, expertise, and the relentless pursuit of success, adding another fascinating chapter to his storied career in Formula 1.
Does Fernando Alonso have kids?
Fernando Alonso does not have any children. He has mentioned in interviews that while he has had a successful career in Formula 1, his dedication to the sport has meant making personal sacrifices, including not having started a family.
How old was Alonso when he won F1?
Fernando Alonso was 24 years old when he won his first Formula 1 World Championship in 2005. He became the youngest World Champion in Formula 1 history at that time, a record that has since been broken.
How many F1 championships has Alonso won?
Fernando Alonso has won two Formula 1 World Championships. He secured his first title in 2005 and followed it up with a second consecutive championship in 2006, both times driving for Renault.
Who is the oldest Formula 1 driver ever?
The oldest Formula 1 driver ever to start a race is Louis Chiron, who was 55 years and 292 days old when he competed in the 1955 Monaco Grand Prix. Fernando Alonso does not hold the record for being the oldest F1 driver; however, as of the 2024 F1 season, he is one of the oldest drivers on the current grid but not in the history of the sport.
Does Alonso have tattoos?
Fernando Alonso does not have any publicly known tattoos. Unlike some other drivers who have visible tattoos, Alonso has not displayed or talked about having any body art.
Who was Fernando Alonso girlfriend in 2006?
In 2006, Fernando Alonso was married to Raquel del Rosario, the lead singer of the Spanish band El Sueño de Morfeo. They were not just dating; they were a married couple at that time.
How much does Fernando Alonso make?
As of the 2023 Formula 1 season, Fernando Alonso’s salary was reported to be around $5 million, excluding potential bonuses or endorsements. However, driver salaries can vary based on performance, contract terms, and other agreements, so this figure may change over time.
What did Fernando Alonso’s parents do?
Fernando Alonso’s father, José Luis Alonso, worked as a mine shaft explosives factory mechanic and also had a passion for kart racing. His mother, Ana Díaz, was an employee at a department store. They supported Alonso’s early interest in racing, with his father even building him his first kart.
Who is older Hamilton or Alonso?
Fernando Alonso is older than Lewis Hamilton. Alonso was born on July 29, 1981, while Hamilton was born on January 7, 1985. This makes Alonso 3 1/2 years senior to Hamilton.
Does Fernando Alonso have a sister?
Yes, Fernando Alonso has an older sister named Lorena Alonso Díaz. She is a doctor by profession and has been seen attending some of Alonso’s races.
Why is Alonso called Nando?
Fernando Alonso is affectionately called “Nando” as a shorthand or diminutive form of his first name, Fernando. It is a common practice, especially in Spanish-speaking cultures, to create nicknames by shortening or altering the original name. “Nando” is simply a more casual, friendly version of “Fernando”.
Did Alonso drive for Ferrari?
Yes, Fernando Alonso drove for Ferrari. He joined the team in 2010 and raced for them until the end of the 2014 season. During his time at Ferrari, Alonso won 11 races and finished as a runner-up in the World Championship three times.
Did Fernando Alonso drive for McLaren?
Yes, Fernando Alonso drove for McLaren. He had two separate stints with the team: first in 2007 and then from 2015 to 2018. His time at McLaren included partnering with Lewis Hamilton in his debut season and later returning to the team during their partnership with Honda and then Renault as engine suppliers.
What teams has Alonso driven for?
Fernando Alonso has driven for six teams during his Formula 1 career:
- Minardi (2001)
- Renault (2003-2006, 2008-2009)
- McLaren (2007, 2015-2018)
- Ferrari (2010-2014)
- Alpine (2021-2022)
- Aston Martin (2023 – )
Alonso is set to drive for Aston Martin for the 2024 F1 season, and has recently spoken about his desire to extend his contract beyond 2024.