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Fernando Alonso

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Fernando Alonso
Alonso 2016.jpg
Alonso in 2016
BornFernando Alonso Díaz
(1981-07-29) 29 July 1981 (age 39)
Oviedo, Asturias, Spain
Formula One World Championship career
NationalitySpain Spanish
Active years2001, 20032018
TeamsMinardi, Renault, McLaren, Ferrari
Car number14[a]
Entries314 (311 starts)
Championships2 (2005, 2006)
Wins32
Podiums97
Career points1,899
Pole positions22
Fastest laps23
First entry2001 Australian Grand Prix
First win2003 Hungarian Grand Prix
Last win2013 Spanish Grand Prix
Last entry2018 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
2018 position11th (50 pts)
FIA World Endurance Championship career
Debut season2018–19
Current teamToyota Gazoo Racing
Car number8
Starts8
Championships1 (2018–19)
Wins5
Poles4
Fastest laps0
IndyCar Series career
2 races run over 3 years
Team(s)No. 66 (Arrow McLaren SP)
2017 position29th
Best finish29th (2017)
First race2017 Indianapolis 500 (Indianapolis)
Last race2020 Indianapolis 500 (Indianapolis)
Wins Podiums Poles
0 0 0
Signature
Fernando Alonso signature

Fernando Alonso Díaz (Spanish pronunciation: [feɾˈnando aˈlonso ˈði.aθ] (About this soundlisten); born 29 July 1981) is a Spanish racing driver who won the Formula One World Championship in 2005 and 2006 for the Renault team. He is often regarded as one of the greatest Formula One drivers in the history of the sport.[1] Away from Formula One, he is a champion of the 2018–19 FIA World Endurance Championship and a two-time winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2018 and 2019 with Toyota. Alonso also won the 2019 24 Hours of Daytona with Wayne Taylor Racing.

Born in Oviedo, Asturias to a working-class family, he began go-karting at the age of three and achieved success in local, national and world championships. Alonso progressed to car racing at age 17, winning the Euro Open by Nissan in 1999 and was fourth in the International Formula 3000 Championship of 2000. He debuted in Formula One with Minardi in 2001 before joining Renault as a test driver for 2002. Promoted to a race seat in 2003, Alonso won two drivers' championships in 2005 and 2006 from Kimi Räikkönen and Michael Schumacher, respectively. After finishing third with McLaren in 2007, he returned to Renault for 2008 and 2009 and won two races in the former year for fifth overall. Alonso drove for Ferrari from 2010 to 2014, finishing runner-up to Sebastian Vettel three times in tightly contested title duels in 2010 and 2012 and again in 2013. A second stint with McLaren from 2015 to 2018 resulted in no further success due to an uncompetitive car.

Overall Alonso won 32 Formula One races, 22 pole positions and 1,899 points from 311 starts. He was the first Spanish Formula One driver to win the World Championship and was the youngest one and two-time drivers' champion at the time of his successes and held the records of youngest pole position sitter and race winner. He won the 2001 Race of Champions Nations Cup with the rally driver Jesús Puras and the motorcyclist Rubén Xaus for Team Spain and thrice entered the Indianapolis 500 in 2017, 2019 and 2020. Alonso's has been awarded the Prince of Asturias Award for Sports, the Premios Nacionales del Deporte Sportsman of the Year Award and the Gold Medal of the Royal Order of Sports Merit and has twice been inducted into the FIA Hall of Fame. He runs an eSports and junior racing team and is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.

Early and personal life

Alonso was born on 29 July 1981 to a working-class family in Oviedo, Asturias, Northern Spain.[2][3] He is the son of the mine shaft explosives factory mechanic and amateur kart driver José Luis Alonso,[3][4] and his wife,[4] the department store employee Ana Díaz.[2][5] Alonso has an elder sister, Lorena, who is a doctor.[5]

He was educated at the Holy Guardian Angel Primary School (Spanish: Santo Ángel de la Guarda) in Oviedo from 1985 to 1995 under the Basic Education System (Spanish: Educación General Básica).[6] Alonso attended the Institute Leopoldo Alas Clarín of San Lazaro (Spanish: Instituto Leopoldo Alas Clarín de San Lázaro) until his career in motor racing caused him to leave during his Curso de Orientación Universitaria (English: University Orientation Course) in 2000.[6] He was granted a permit to study away from school,[7] after he disobeyed his mother's orders and seldom attended classes.[8] He achieved a good academic performance by asking his classmates for notes and was unproblematic.[6][9]

From November 2006 to December 2011, Alonso was married to Raquel del Rosario, the lead singer of the Spanish pop band, El Sueño de Morfeo.[10] Since then he has been in relationships with four different women.[11] Alonso supports the Real Madrid and Real Oviedo football teams,[7] and speaks English, French, Italian and Spanish.[12] He has a samurai tattoo on his back to show muscle strength, intelligence and force of will inspired by the 18th century spiritual guide Hagakure.[13]

Karting career

The first go-kart driven by Alonso after his elder sister did not want to drive it

Alonso's father wanted a hobby to share with his children and built a go-kart for Lorena. She was uninterested in karting and a three-year-old Alonso received the kart.[2][4][14] The karts' pedals were modified for drive-ability,[3][7] and the local racing federation granted him a mandatory kart racing license aged five;[5] his father rejected an offer for his son to be a goalkeeper for the RC Celta de Vigo football club.[7][15] The family lacked the finances required to develop him in karts;[2] they could not purchase rain tyres and forced Alonso to adapt to a wet track on slick tyres.[16] Alonso devised three timing sectors going to school to improve himself daily.[17] His mother sewn his racing overalls and adjusted them as he grew;[18] she ensured Alonso was academically well off.[2] His father steered the kart early on and was his accountant, counselor, manager and mechanic.[18][19]

Aged seven, Alonso won his first kart race in Pola de Laviana.[5][20] He won the 1988 and 1989 children's junior Championship of the Asturias and Galicia, and progressed to the Cadet class in 1990.[21][22] Due to rising expenses incurred by his father,[21] the go-kart importer Genís Marcó was impressed by Alonso and mentored him; the kart track owner José Luis Echevarria told him about Alonso. Marcó found personal and sponsorship money for Alonso's family to defray financial concerns and allow him to enter European series.[5][8][23] He spoke to the six-time Karting World Champion Mike Wilson, who gave Alonso a test session at a track in Parma.[21] Marcó taught Alonso to be conservative and maintain the condition of a kart.[24]

The go-kart Alonso drove to win the Karting World Championship in 1996

Alonso won the 1990 Asturias and the Basque Country Cadet Championship and finished second in the 1991 Spanish Cadet National Championship.[5] The local karting federation allowed him to enter the 100cc class because he was deemed underage to drive more powerful machinery. At a Catalan Karting Championship meet in Móra d'Ebre, Marcó asked Alonso if he wanted to enter the Spanish Karting Championship.[23] Wilson mentored Alonso; he joined the Italian American Motor Engineering works team in 1993.[21] Alonso won three successive Spanish Junior National Championships from 1993 to 1995.[22]

The results allowed him to progress to the world championships.[5] Alonso was third at the 1995 Commission Internationale de Karting (CIK-FIA) Cadets' Rainbow Trophy.[21] Alonso was a mechanic to younger kart drivers to earn money.[7] He won his fourth Spanish Junior Karting Championship, the Trofeo Estival, the Marlboro Masters,[22] and the CIK-FIA 5 Continents Juniors Cup at the Karting Genk in 1996.[21] In 1997, he took the Italian and Spanish International A championships and was second in the European Championship with nine wins, the Masters Karting Paris Bercy and the Spanish Karting Championship.[5][22]

Motor racing career

Junior racing career

Aged 17, Alonso made his car racing debut in the 1999 Euro Open by Nissan with Campos Motorsport, winning the title from Manuel Gião at the final race of the season with six wins and nine pole positions.[b] For 2000, he progressed to the higher-tier International Formula 3000 Championship with the Minardi-backed Team Astromega,[14][2] after a sponsorship agreement with driver Robert Lechner fell through.[26] Alonso finished second at the Hungaroring and won the season-ending round at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps for fourth overall with 17 points.[14]

Minardi and Renault (2001–2006)

Cesare Fiorio, the sports director, gave Alonso a test in a Formula One car at the Circuito de Jerez in December 1999 as part of the Euro Open by Nissan's organising company RPM agreement to give its series champion an opportunity to test at a higher level.[27] He was Minardi's test and reserve driver in 2000 before joining its race team in 2001.[2] In a non-competitive car,[28] Alonso's best result of the season was a tenth-place finish in the German Grand Prix and scored no points for 23rd overall.[14]

Alonso driving for Renault at the 2003 British Grand Prix

He signed as Renault's test driver for 2002 per the orders of manager Flavio Briatore to familiarise himself with the team and improve himself for the future.[29][30] Alonso worked with the engineering department to improve Giancarlo Fisichella's and Jenson Button's performance,[31] and tested in Spain and the United Kingdom.[32] He drove a Jaguar in an evaluation session against test drivers André Lotterer and James Courtney at the Silverstone Circuit in May 2002.[33] Alonso was promoted to the Renault race team for 2003.[14] He went on to break the records of youngest driver to win a pole position at the season's second race, the Malaysian Grand Prix, and broke Bruce McLaren's record as the youngest Formula One race winner at the Hungarian Grand Prix later in the year.[c][34] He achieved four podium finishes in 2003 and was sixth in the World Drivers' Championship with 55 points.[14]

He remained with Renault for 2004.[35] Alonso had an improved season: he finished the season-opening Australian Grand Prix in third position and took three more podium finishes that year. He took pole position for the French Grand Prix and achieved no race victories en route to fourth in the World Drivers' Championship with 59 points.[14] Alonso stayed at Renault for 2005.[2] He duelled with McLaren driver Kimi Räikkönen for the World Championship in 2005 due to regulation changes mandating teams not to change tyres during a race and engines had to last for two races before they could be changed. Alonso's car was more reliable than Räikkönen's albeit lacking in speed.[36] Alonso eclipsed Emerson Fittipaldi as the youngest World Drivers' Champion with seven victories, six pole positions and fourteen podium finishes for 133 points.[2][14][36]

Alonso won his second World Drivers' Championship at the 2006 Brazilian Grand Prix.

He signed a contract extension with Renault for 2006 in April 2005.[37] Bookmakers installed Alonso as the favourite to retain the Drivers' Championship.[38] His primary competition was Ferrari driver Michael Schumacher.[2][39] Alonso won six of the first nine races and finished no lower than second to lead the championship with 84 out of a possible 90 points.[14][32] An Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA; Formula One's governing body)-imposed ban on Renault's tuned mass damper device to slow Alonso and an increase of development into Schumacher's Ferrari for competitiveness saw the two tied on points entering the season's penultimate round, the Japanese Grand Prix.[2][39] Alonso won the race as Schumacher retired due to an engine failure whilst leading.[39] He need to score one point at the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix for a second title.[40] Alonso won the championship by finishing second and was Formula One's youngest two-time World Champion.[c][34]

McLaren and second stint with Renault (2007–2009)

Alonso en route to victory at the 2007 Malaysian Grand Prix

He and McLaren team owner Ron Dennis met secretly in Japan after Dennis talked to Alonso about driving for the team in the future and Alonso expressed interest in the idea. Both men agreed to a three-year contract for Alonso to drive for McLaren starting from 2007.[41][42] Alonso's contract with Renault expired on 31 December 2006, and he was not granted an early release for sponsorship reasons.[43] Renault allowed Alonso to make his first appearance for McLaren in a test session at the Circuito de Jerez in November 2006.[43][44] His main competitors in 2007 were his teammate Lewis Hamilton and Räikkönen at Ferrari. Alonso achieved four Grand Prix victories in Malaysia, Monaco, Europe and Italy and led the championship until Hamilton overtook him.[45] Prior to the season's final round, the Brazilian Grand Prix, he had 103 championship points to Räikkönen's 100 and Hamilton's 107, and needed to win the race and for his teammate to finish third or lower for his third title.[46] Alonso finished the event third for third overall with 109 points. He had the same number of points as Hamilton; the tie was broken on count-back as Hamilton finished second more often than Alonso.[14][47]

Alonso took a controversial victory at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix, after his teammate, Nelson Piquet Jr., was ordered to crash deliberately.

Throughout the season, Alonso and Hamilton were involved in a number of incidents such as the espionage scandal and him delaying Hamilton in the pit lane during qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix which resulted in tensions between both drivers and the team,[42][48] culminating in Alonso and McLaren terminating their contract by mutual consent in November.[48][49] Alonso was forbidden from joining a team whom McLaren considered their primary challengers for 2008.[50] After rejecting offers from several teams,[51] he signed a two-year contract to rejoin Renault from 2008 because of the manufacturer's long-term commitment to Formula One and on-track record.[52][53] Alonso's car lacked power early on due to an imposed moratorium in development and he scored nine points in the first seven races.[32][54] He was thereafter able to improve his performance later due to aerodynamic developments to the car's and won in Singapore and Japan;[32] the former race saw Renault order his teammate Nelson Piquet Jr. to crash deliberately and trigger the deployment of the safety car in what became known as "crashgate".[14] Alonso scored more points than any other driver in the final five races with 43.[54][55] He scored 61 points for fifth in the Drivers' Championship.[14]

Alonso was due to become a free agent for 2009 if Renault were lower than third in the Constructors' Championship.[56] After offers from Red Bull Racing and Honda,[56][57] he resigned to Renault on a two-year contract.[58] His car proved to be noncompetitive because it lacked a dual diffuser system and outright speed.[32][59] Alonso eschewed an aerodynamic front wing mandated in an attempt to make overtaking more possible since he did not believe it would help him.[14] He scored points in eight races and achieved one podium finish: a third-place at the Singapore Grand Prix.[60] Alonso won pole position for the Hungarian Grand Prix and led the first 12 laps before he retired following an incorrectly fitted right-front wheel.[61] Alonso was ninth in the Drivers' Championship with 26 points,[14] his lowest placing since he came sixth in 2003;[60] he maintained his reputation as one of Formula One's best drivers.[14]

Ferrari (2010–2014)

Alonso won on his debut with Ferrari at the 2010 Bahrain Grand Prix.

He agreed with Ferrari president Luca Cordero di Montezemolo to drive for Ferrari in 2009, but team principal Jean Todt extended the contracts of both Felipe Massa and Räikkönen to 2010.[62] Alonso obtained a mid-2009 agreement to drive for Ferrari from 2011 on but it was moved to 2010 after Renault were investigated for race fixing in Singapore and Räikkönen was released from the team.[60][63] McLaren's Hamilton and Button and Red Bull's of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber were Alonso's main championship competition.[64] He won five races that season and entered the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix leading by eight points after being 47 behind mid-season following errors. Alonso finished runner-up to Vettel after he was unable to pass Renault's Vitaly Petrov following a strategy error by Ferrari.[14][65]

His 2011 season was mixed: his car was built conservatively and lacked aerodynamic grip and tyre handling in qualifying.[66] He extracted additional pace from his car to claim ten podium finishes and win the British Grand Prix after a strategy error from Red Bull. His best qualification of the year was a second at the Canadian Grand Prix and he out-qualified his teammate Massa fifteen times over the course of the season. Alonso was fourth overall with 257 points; he was in contention to finish second to eventual champion Vettel following a series of strong finishes until Webber won the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix.[14][67]

Alonso driving at the 2012 German Grand Prix

Ahead of 2012, Alonso extended his contract with Ferrari until 2016.[68] His main competition for the title in 2012 was Vettel.[69] Wins in Malaysia, Valencia and Germany and consistent points-scoring finishes allowed him to build a 40-point lead in the Drivers' Championship. Thereafter start-line collisions, a mechanical failure and an improved performance for Vettel eliminated Alonso's points lead.[14][70][71] Alonso entered the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix 13 points behind Vettel and needed to finish third and for Vettel not to score points for a third championship.[69] He was second and Vettel finished fourth to be runner-up for the second time in his career on 278 points.[14][71]

To begin 2013, Alonso drove an aggressively designed car allowing him to win in China and Spain and consistently scored points.[14][72] He was slower than Vettel after a change of tyre compound at the German Grand Prix and front and rear bodywork components intended to improve his car's performance were ineffective.[72][73] With 242 points, Alonso was second for the third time in his career.[14] His relationship with Ferrari cooled due to his perception the team could not construct a title-winning car.[74] Alonso's 2014 season saw him achieve no race wins because his car was less powerful than the championship-winning Mercedes but took third in the Chinese Grand Prix and second in the Hungarian Grand Prix. Alonso fell to sixth in the Drivers' Championship with 161 points.[14][32] He qualified faster than his teammate Räikkönen 16 times by an average of more than ½ second per lap in 2014.[74]

McLaren (2015–2020)

Alonso had severe disagreements with team principal Marco Mattiacci in 2014 and left Ferrari after contract negotiations to remain at the team fell through.[74] He rejoined McLaren on a three-year contract from 2015 to 2017 with no opt-out clauses.[75] An accident during a pre-season test session at Spain's Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in February 2015 saw Alonso sustain an concussion and he was replaced by reserve driver Kevin Magnussen for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.[76] He endured a difficult season: his car's Honda engine was under-powered and overall speed leaving him vulnerable to being passed.[77] Alonso scored points twice in 2015: a tenth in the British Grand Prix and a fifth in the Hungarian Grand Prix for 17th in the Drivers' Championship with 11 points.[14] He was dissatisfied with a slow pace, which became evident after multiple radio complaints that year.[78][79]

Alonso driving at the 2016 Monaco Grand Prix

Despite the unreliable and noncompetitive car,[80] Alonso remained for McLaren for 2016.[81] Injuries from a heavy crash with Esteban Gutiérrez at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix caused him to miss the Bahrain Grand Prix on medical grounds and was replaced by reserve driver Stoffel Vandoorne.[82] Alonso qualified better than teammate Button fifteen times and scored points nine times, which included two fifth-place finishes in the Monaco Grand Prix and the United States Grand Prix. He was tenth in the Drivers' Championship with 54 points.[14] Alonso told his colleagues he would stay at McLaren in 2017.[83] Poor unreliability affected his season, particularly during the early rounds, and his best finish was a seventh in the Hungarian Grand Prix. After three consecutive top-ten finishes, Alonso finished 15th in the Drivers' Championship with 17 points.[14]

Following contract negotiations with the McLaren CEO Zak Brown,[84] Alonso signed a multi-year extension with McLaren on 19 October 2017.[85] He finished fifth at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix and took nine top-ten finishes.[14] Alonso out-qualified his teammate Stoffel Vandoorne at every race and drove quickly and aggressively. He became increasingly annoyed with certain drivers and his commitment to Formula One waned after McLaren stopped developing his car to focus on 2019.[86][87] Alonso was 11th in the Drivers' Championship with 50 points,[14] and left the sport as a driver at the end of the year, citing a perceived lack of on-track racing, the predictability of results and felt discussions away from racing about the broadcast of radio transmissions and polemics harmed the series.[88]

He remained at McLaren as a brand ambassador to aid and advise drivers and drove in select test sessions to develop their cars. Alonso drove the MCL34 during a two-day in-season post-race Bahrain test in April 2019 to develop tyres for Pirelli.[89] No further runs were planned for him and McLaren focused on their current drivers.[90] Alonso's ambassador contract with McLaren expired at the end of 2019, and was not renewed for 2020.[91]

Alpine (2021–)

Alonso is due to drive for Alpine F1 Team for the 2021 and 2022 seasons.[92] After Renault rebranded the teamname to Alpine from 2021 onwards. In October 2020 Alonso drove Renault’s 2020 car, the R.S.20, at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Because of the limited testing Renault opted to use their second filming day, which allows for 100km of running of the current car on promotional Pirelli tyres.[93] In November 2020 Alonso completed 2 days of testing. He drove 93 laps each day at the Bahrain International Circuit driving Renault's 2018 car the Renault R.S.18.[94][95] He drove the R.S.18 again during a 2 day test at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi completing 190 laps.[96][97]

Other racing

Alonso made his endurance racing debut at the 1999 24 Hours of Barcelona, finishing 10th overall in an Hyundai Accent he shared with Antonio García, Salvi Delmuns and the journalist Pedro Fermín Flores.[98] He won the 2001 Race of Champions Nations Cup with the rally driver Jesús Puras and the motorcyclist Rubén Xaus for Team Spain,[99] and was eliminated by Jeff Gordon of the United States in his group race a year later.[100]

In 2018, Alonso raced in the 24 Hours of Daytona for the first time. He shared the No. 22 United Autosports Ligier JS P2 with Lando Norris and Philip Hanson, which finished 38th overall after mechanical issues affected his race.[101] He later raced the full 2018–19 FIA World Endurance Championship alongside Sébastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima at Toyota Gazoo Racing. Sharing the No. 8 Toyota TS050 Hybrid, the trio won the World Drivers' Championship after a season-long duel with their teammates Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and José María López with five race victories, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans in both 2018 and 2019.[102] Alonso returned to compete in the 24 Hours of Daytona in 2019. He won the rain-shortened race in a Wayne Taylor Racing-entered Cadillac DPi-V.R with Kobayashi, Renger van der Zande and Jordan Taylor.[103]

He first drove the Indianapolis 500 in 2017. Alonso drove for McLaren Honda Andretti, qualifying in fifth position for the race and leading four times for a total of 24 laps before retiring with engine failure with 21 laps remaining while running in seventh place. He was classified 24th.[104][105] He returned to the Indianapolis 500 for a second time with McLaren in 2019. An error converting inches to the metric system causing his car to scrape the tarmac surface on his first lap on track and incorrect gear ratios meant Alonso failed to qualify for the race.[d][107] He entered the Indianapolis 500 in 2020 for his third attempt at winning the race, this time with Arrow McLaren SP after an agreement with Andretti Autosport fell through.[108] Alonso finished the race in 21st after clutch issues slowed pit stops.

Alonso entered the Dakar Rally with Toyota in 2020 following a five-month training programme testing in Africa, Europe and the Middle East and driving a series of races to better himself.[109][110] With co-driver Marc Coma, he finished the event in 13th position with a best stage finish of second place. A stop for repairs on the second stage and a roll on the 10th lost him several hours in the general classification.[111]

Driving ability

Alonso is often regarded as one of the greatest Formula One drivers in the history of the sport.[1] Journalists and fellow drivers regarded Alonso as a fast and consistent driver who can extract additional pace from a car in all weathers and all tracks.[112][113] Fisichella said Alonso understands when to go faster and when to preserve his tyres in a race.[113] Former racing driver and the Sky Sports pundit Martin Brundle described Alonso as "Senna-like in his intimate feel for where the grip is" and cited the drivers' knowledge on how much grip to use for the entry to a turn.[113] He drives aggressively and uses a braking area to put a car into a corner without losing speed exiting it. This allows Alonso to keep it "on the edge of adhesion" and it has been observed during a qualifying session and the first laps of a race.[17] He uses more of his ability longer than other drivers and is better able to understand his personal limits.[112]

His experience increased his awareness of events around him and competitors in a race and adjusted his situation to focus on the drivers' championship.[114] Alonso is an all-round driver who can mount an apex and correct a sliding car to go faster.[115] He is careful in finding the ideal feeling with his brakes and can apply the maximum amount of force with a fast response time. Alonso's physical strength contrasts his braking skill and regularly exceeded that limit without overdoing it on multiple conditions.[116] According to Jonathan Noble of Motorsport.com, this allows Alonso to "create a kind of natural ABS – fully exploiting tyre grip to achieve greater speeds while turning without locking the wheels."[116]

Helmet and career number

Helmet design

Alonso's helmet manufactured by Bieffe (2001), Arai (2003–2009, 2016), Schuberth (2010–2015)[117][118] Bell (2017–)[119] sports the yellow and red colours of the flag of Spain with shades of blue from the Asturias flag coupled with two silver thunderbolt arrows derived from a remote control car he received as a present in his childhood on top.[120] He changed its mainbase colour design when switching teams during his Formula One career; in 2008 Alonso attached two pictures of a spade, ace and heart symbol to show he was a two-time world champion.[121]

The racing helmet Alonso wore at the 2013 Indian Grand Prix to commemorate him scoring 1571 career points

For three successive Monaco Grand Prix from 2011 to 2013 and at the 2011 Singapore Grand Prix, he wore a gold and white coloured helmet to replace the blue and yellow.[122][123] At the following 2013 Indian Grand Prix, Alonso sported a white helmet to celebrate his total number of career points scored up to the preceding Japanese Grand Prix of 1571 and with the words "F1 points World Record" accompanied with a thank you message in English, French and Italian.[124]

His final event for Ferrari at the 2014 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix saw him wear a helmet with a picture depicting a pit stop in that year in the colour red, signature of various team members and the flag of Italy in the centre.[125] At the 2017 Indianapolis 500 and the 2017 United States Grand Prix, Alonso sported a black helmet with red, yellow and blue stripes around it and his race number.[126][127] He revised the livery for the 2018 24 Hours of Daytona to white instead of black and had no stripes around the front. The back had the layout of the Daytona International Speedway and continued to have his usual blue, red and yellow colours.[126]

In 2018 Alonso changed its front livery to be predominantly blue with the back top lighter blue and the rear red and yellow.[128] His helmet for the 2018 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was divided equally between the flag of Spain on the right with a blue-checkered pattern around its side. The yellow on that area was replaced by gold between two horizontal stripes in red and a thick vertical strip was added with a list of Alonso's 32 Formula One race victories.[129]

Career number

For the 2014 season, the FIA created a new regulation that allows a driver to select a car number for use throughout their Formula One career. Alonso requested the number 14 for it has been his lucky number since he had won the world karting championship at the age of 14 on 14 July 1996.[130]

Image and impact

Nate Saunders of ESPN writes that Alonso "is one of the most eloquent speakers in Formula One and one of the best at interacting with the media".[131] He occasionally uses press conference with the press to cultivate particular narratives of a story, convey himself as controlling the Formula One driver market or as the one with knowledge of facts of a situation.[131] Alonso dislikes fame, prefers a private life,[132] and Chris Jenkins for USA Today described him as a shy individual.[3] He eschews expensive habits and items,[133] and in his early career brought an entourage of childhood friends to Formula One races.[132] Alonso is an atheist and a non-believer in destiny.[134]

Alonso at the 2015 Honda Racing Thanks Day

His public persona is very different from his private personality.[135] Fellow Spaniard driver Carlos Sainz Jr. noted "there are two Fernandos", alluding to Alonso's defensive nature when criticised because of his shyness, compared to his sense of humour, generosity and kind-nature when not racing.[135] According to the Autosport journalist Ben Anderson, Alonso's success in Formula One required him to behave egotistically and selfishly and has a self-confidence to easily deal with the consequences of taking an approach of able to "burst egotistical bubbles" to improve himself.[135] Alonso acknowledged the façade and told Anderson "I know who I am outside of F1, but that remains a question mark for everybody because I like to separate my personal life from my professional life" and his different personality traits in public and private.[135]

Journalist Nigel Roebuck calls Alonso "the first world-class racing driver to come out of Spain",[132] and is credited for popularising Formula One in the country, where it was once considered a fringe sport and a lesser known form of motorsport than motorcycling and rallying.[136] He was Personality Media's favourite male athlete with a 99 per cent recognition rating amongst the Spanish public in 2015;[137] in the latter part of his Formula One career, Alonso was within the top two most popular drivers in the Grand Prix Drivers' Association fan surveys of 2010, 2015 and 2017.[138]

The Fernando Alonso Sports Complex in Oviedo was opened in June 2015 and features a CIK-FIA compliant karting track featuring 29 layouts. A museum dedicated to his racing career called 'Museo y Circuito Fernando Alonso' opened in the same year and features Alonso's race cars, helmets, overalls and memorabilia.[139]

Endorsements and philanthropy

Alonso has done business with Banco Santander, Cajastur, TAG Heuer, Europcar, Silestone,[140] Liberbank,[141] ING,[142] Chandon,[143] and Adidas.[144] He is the founder and brand ambassador of the fashion retailer Kimoa,[145] and intended to establish the Fernando Alonso Cycling Team to compete in UCI events in 2015 before the project failed to materialise.[e][146] As a result of Alonso's endorsement money and Formula One salary, he has been listed as one of the world's highest-paid athletes by Forbes every year from 2012 to 2018.[147] The magazine named him motorsport's top-earning driver from June 2012 to June 2013,[148] one of 2016's top earning international stars,[149] and one of 2017's highest-paid international and European celebrities.[150][151] Alonso also featured on the Forbes Celebrity 100 list in 2008 and 2017.[152] In 2020 Alonso has also confirmed sponsorships with a variety of brands for his Indy 500 attempt including:Progressive, Richard Mille, Bell Sports, Duelit, 226ers, Mission Foods, Ruoff Mortgage and Lucas Oil Products.[153]

In 2020 Alonso and Bang & Olufsen also announced a partnership.[154]

In November 2017 Alonso established an eSports racing team called FA Racing G2 Logitech G of which he is the team principal and competes in virtual online racing championships on multiple platforms.[155] The team dissolved in 2018 and launched another in partnership with FA Racing and Veloce Esports in March 2019.[156] Alonso's team has also competed in the F4 Spanish Championship, the Formula Renault Eurocup and karting.[157] He is an investor and board member of the eSports multi-racing platform Motorsport Games.[158]

The UNICEF Spanish Committee named Alonso a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in February 2005 to promote and defend children's rights and awareness of UNICEF.[159] Alonso promoted India's efforts to eradicate polio in 2011 and handwashing with soap to school children in 2012.[160][161] He supported UNICEF's anti-cyberbullying campaign in November 2017.[162] Alonso founded the Fundación Fernando Alonso (English: Fernando Alonso Foundation) in 2007 to promote motor racing and road safety education.[122]

Awards

Alonso received the 2003 Autosport Gregor Grant Award for winning the 2003 Hungarian Grand Prix.[163] He also won the Princess Cristina National Sports Award for sporting newcomer in that year.[164] Alonso was named the recipient of the Lorenzo Bandini Trophy in April 2005.[165] From October 2005 to May 2006 he received the Prince of Asturias Award for Sports, the Premios Nacionales del Deporte Sportsman of the Year Award and the Gold Medal of the Royal Order of Sports Merit for winning the 2005 Formula One World Championship.[166]

He was named the 2006 Autosport International Racing Driver of the Year.[167] Alonso was voted the Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year for his performance in the 2017 Indianapolis 500.[105] He was inducted into the FIA Hall of Fame in 2017 for being a Formula One World Champion and again as a FIA World Endurance Champion in 2019.[168][169] This made Alonso the first driver to have been inducted into the FIA Hall of Fame twice.[169]

Racing record

Career summary

Season Series Team Races Wins Poles F/Laps Podiums Points Position
1999 Euro Open by Nissan Campos Motorsport 15 6 6 5 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
2011 Formula One Scuderia Ferrari 19 1 0 1 10 257 4th
2012 Formula One Scuderia Ferrari 20 3 2 0 13 278 2nd
2013 Formula One Scuderia Ferrari 19 2 0 2 9 242 2nd
2014 Formula One Scuderia Ferrari 19 0 0 0 2 161 6th
2015 Formula One McLaren Honda 18 0 0 0 0 11 17th
2016 Formula One McLaren Honda 20 0 0 1 0 54 10th
2017 Formula One McLaren Honda 19 0 0 1 0 17 15th
IndyCar Series McLaren-Honda-Andretti 1 0 0 0 0 47 29th
2018 Formula One McLaren F1 Team 21 0 0 0 0 50 11th
24 Hours of Le Mans Toyota Gazoo Racing 1 1 1 0 1 N/A 1st
WeatherTech SportsCar Championship United Autosports 1 0 0 0 0 18 58th
2018–19 FIA World Endurance Championship Toyota Gazoo Racing 8 5 4 0 7 198 1st
2019 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Konica Minolta Cadillac 1 1 0 0 1 35 27th
24 Hours of Le Mans Toyota Gazoo Racing 1 1 0 0 1 N/A 1st
IndyCar Series McLaren Racing 0 0 0 0 0 0 NC
2020 Dakar Rally Toyota Gazoo Racing 1 0 N/A 0 N/A 13th
IndyCar Series Arrow McLaren SP 1 0 0 0 0 18 31st*
Source:[14][170]

* Still in progress.

Complete Euro Open by Nissan results

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap; small number indicates the finishing position)

Year Entrant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 DC Points
1999 Campos Motorsport ALB
1

Ret
ALB
2

1
JER
1

Ret
JER
2

DNS
JAR
1

Ret
JAR
2

1
MNZ
1

Ret
MNZ
2

Ret
JAR
1

2
JAR
2

Ret
DON
1

1
DON
2

1
CAT
1

7
CAT
2

1
VAL
1

2
VAL
2

1
1st 164
Source:[171]

Complete International Formula 3000 results

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap; small number indicates the finishing position)

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
Source:[172]

Complete Formula One results

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap; small number indicates the finishing position)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 WDC Pts
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
DNS
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
6th 55
Renault R23B GBR
Ret
GER
4
HUN
1
ITA
8
USA
Ret
JPN
Ret
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
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 150º Italia Ferrari 056 2.4 V8 AUS
4
MAL
6
CHN
7
TUR
3
ESP
5
MON
2
CAN
Ret
EUR
2
4th 257
Scuderia Ferrari GBR
1
GER
2
HUN
3
BEL
4
ITA
3
SIN
4
JPN
2
KOR
5
IND
3
ABU
2
BRA
4
2012 Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari F2012 Ferrari 056 2.4 V8 AUS
5
MAL
1
CHN
9
BHR
7
ESP
2
MON
3
CAN
5
EUR
1
GBR
2
GER
1
HUN
5
BEL
Ret
ITA
3
SIN
3
JPN
Ret
KOR
3
IND
2
ABU
2
USA
3
BRA
2
2nd 278
2013 Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari F138 Ferrari 056 2.4 V8 AUS
2
MAL
Ret
CHN
1
BHR
8
ESP
1
MON
7
CAN
2
GBR
3
GER
4
HUN
5
BEL
2
ITA
2
SIN
2
KOR
6
JPN
4
IND
11
ABU
5
USA
5
BRA
3
2nd 242
2014 Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari F14 T Ferrari 059/3 1.6 V6 t AUS
4
MAL
4
BHR
9
CHN
3
ESP
6
MON
4
CAN
6
AUT
5
GBR
6
GER
5
HUN
2
BEL
7
ITA
Ret
SIN
4
JPN
Ret
RUS
6
USA
6
BRA
6
ABU
9
6th 161
2015 McLaren Honda McLaren MP4-30 Honda RA615H 1.6 V6 t AUS MAL
Ret
CHN
12
BHR
11
ESP
Ret
MON
Ret
CAN
Ret
AUT
Ret
GBR
10
HUN
5
BEL
13
ITA
18
SIN
Ret
JPN
11
RUS
11
USA
11
MEX
Ret
BRA
15
ABU
17
17th 11
2016 McLaren Honda McLaren MP4-31 Honda RA616H 1.6 V6 t AUS
Ret
BHR CHN
12
RUS
6
ESP
Ret
MON
5
CAN
11
EUR
Ret
AUT
18
GBR
13
HUN
7
GER
12
BEL
7
ITA
14
SIN
7
MAL
7
JPN
16
USA
5
MEX
13
BRA
10
ABU
10
10th 54
2017 McLaren Honda McLaren MCL32 Honda RA617H 1.6 V6 t AUS
Ret
CHN
Ret
BHR
14
RUS
DNS
ESP
12
MON CAN
16
AZE
9
AUT
Ret
GBR
Ret
HUN
6
BEL
Ret
ITA
17
SIN
Ret
MAL
11
JPN
11
USA
Ret
MEX
10
BRA
8
ABU
9
15th 17
2018 McLaren F1 Team McLaren MCL33 Renault R.E.18 1.6 V6 t AUS
5
BHR
7
CHN
7
AZE
7
ESP
8
MON
Ret
CAN
Ret
FRA
16
AUT
8
GBR
8
GER
16
HUN
8
BEL
Ret
ITA
Ret
SIN
7
RUS
14
JPN
14
USA
Ret
MEX
Ret
BRA
17
ABU
11
11th 50
Source:[173]

Did not finish, but was classified as he had completed more than 90% of the race distance.

American open-wheel racing results

IndyCar Series

Year Team Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Rank Points
2017 McLaren-Honda-Andretti Dallara DW12 Honda STP LBH ALA PHX IMS INDY
24
DET DET TXS RDA IOW TOR MDO POC GTW WGL SNM 29th 47
2019 McLaren Racing Dallara DW12 Chevrolet STP COA ALA LBH IMS INDY
DNQ
DET DET TXS RDA TOR IOW MDO POC GTW POR LAG 0
2020 Arrow McLaren SP Dallara DW12 Chevrolet TXS IMS ROA ROA IOW IOW INDY
21
GTW GTW MDO MDO IMS IMS STP 31st 18
Source:[174]

* Season still in progress.

Indianapolis 500

Year Chassis Engine Start Finish Team
2017 Dallara Honda 5 24 McLaren-Honda-Andretti
2019 Dallara Chevrolet DNQ McLaren Racing
2020 Dallara Chevrolet 26 21 Arrow McLaren SP
Source:[174]

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap; small number indicates the finishing position)

Year Team Class Make Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Rank Points
2018 United Autosports P Ligier JS P217 Gibson GK428 4.2 L V8 DAY
13
SEB LBH MDO DET WGL MOS ELK LGA PET 58th 18
2019 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi Cadillac DPi-V.R Cadillac 5.5 L V8 DAY
1
SEB LBH MDO DET WGL MOS ELK LGA PET 27th 35
Source:[175][176]

24 Hours of Daytona

Year Team Co-drivers Car Class Laps Pos. Class
pos.
2018 United States United Autosports United Kingdom Philip Hanson
United Kingdom Lando Norris
Ligier JS P217-Gibson P 718 38th 13th
2019 United States Konica Minolta Cadillac Japan Kamui Kobayashi
United States Jordan Taylor
Netherlands Renger van der Zande
Cadillac DPi-V.R DPi 593 1st 1st
Source:[176]

Complete FIA World Endurance Championship results

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap; small number indicates the finishing position)

Year Entrant Class Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Rank Points
2018–19 Toyota Gazoo Racing LMP1 Toyota TS050 Hybrid Toyota 2.4 L Turbo V6 (Hybrid) SPA
1
LMS
1
SIL
DSQ
FUJ
2
SHA
2
SEB
1
SPA
1
LMS
1
1st 198
Source:[176][177]

24 Hours of Le Mans results

Year Team Co-Drivers Car Class Laps Pos. Class
Pos.
2018 Japan Toyota Gazoo Racing Switzerland Sébastien Buemi
Japan Kazuki Nakajima
Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 388 1st 1st
2019 Japan Toyota Gazoo Racing Switzerland Sébastien Buemi
Japan Kazuki Nakajima
Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 385 1st 1st
Source:[176]

Dakar Rally results

Year Class Vehicle Position Stages won
2020 Car Japan Toyota 13th 0

Notes and references

Notes

  1. ^ Alonso took two years out of Formula One, and as part of the driver numbering system his old number is no longer reserved for him meaning he will have the option to select a new number or retain his number 14, unless it has been claimed by someone else.
  2. ^ Gião filed an appeal under the belief Alonso had passed him under yellow flag conditions. The appeal was rejected because Gião had filed it through his manager and not his team; officials subsequently confirmed Alonso's championship win.[25]
  3. ^ a b Sebastian Vettel is the current holder of the youngest Formula One pole position starter and youngest one and two-time world champion.[34]
  4. ^ McLaren offered to purchase the Arrow Schmidt Peterson car of Oriol Servià to allow Alonso to enter the race and meet sponsorship obligations since the two teams were in a partnership. Alonso was against replacing a driver who had qualified and McLaren opted against doing so.[106]
  5. ^ The leaked Paradise Papers stated Alonso's manager Luis García Abad founded and constituted the Revolution Holdings Limited for the team on the Mediterranean island of Malta. Documents released to the Spanish media revealed the Directorate-General for the Treasury knew about its existence and accounts.[146]

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Further reading

  • Actis, Raquel (2003). Fernando Alonso: El Principe de la Formula 1 (in Spanish). Nuevas Ediciones del Motor. ISBN 978-84-607-9784-5.
  • Seara, Victor (2004). Fernando Alonso: Una Estrella en El Mundo de la Formula 1 (in Spanish). La Esfera de los Libros. ISBN 978-84-9734-182-0.
  • Actis, Raquel; Luis Criado (2005). Fernando Alonso: La Lucha por la Superacion (in Spanish). Cultural. ISBN 978-84-609-7818-3.
  • Viaplana, Josep (2005). El nuevo rey-Campeón Fernando Alonso (in Spanish). Ediciones B. ISBN 978-84-666-1798-7.
  • Brian, Rodrigo Castillo; del Arco de Izco, Javier; Lobato, Antonio (2005). Los 100 Mejores Pilotos de Fórmula 1: De Nino Farina a Fernando Alonso, 1950–2005 (in Spanish). Cahoba Promociones y Ediciones. ISBN 978-84-9832-056-5.
  • Camus, Martine (2006). Fernando Alonso: Le Sacre de la Jeunesse (in French). Chronosports. ISBN 978-2-84707-108-5.

External links