Biography of Fernando Alonso
Fernando Alonso Diaz is a Spanish F1 driver who is currently racing for the Aston Martin team.
Alonso, a two-time F1 champion, enjoyed spells with Renault, McLaren, Ferrari and Alpine in the past before deciding to switch to Aston Martin.
He has replaced the now-retired Sebastian Vettel in a stunning move that was announced on August 1, 2022.
Fernando was born on July 29, 1981 in Oviedo, Spain and he is the oldest driver on the grid at the age of 41
Alonso stands 5ft 7ins tall (1.71m)
Fernando Alonso in F1
Fernando Alonso joined F1 with the minnow Minardi team in 2001. With an uncompetitive car, Alonso completed his first season with a best finish of 10th at the German Grand Prix, finishing 23rd in the drivers' standings with no points to his name.
For 2002, Alonso joined manager Flavio Briatore at Renault as test driver, developing behind race drivers Jenson Button and Giancarlo Fisichella. His work earned him a call-up to partner Fisichella at the team for 2003, where he broke the record for the youngest pole position winner at the second race of the season in Malaysia.
This was followed by becoming the youngest winner since Bruce McLaren when taking victory at the Hungarian Grand Prix at the age of 23. Four podiums were enough to clinch fifth in the standings with 55 points.
The same number of podiums, albeit with no follow-up victory, and four additional points meant Alonso improved his standing to fourth, with the highlight of the season a second-place finish in France.
2005 was a coming of age. An immense tussle with Michael Schumacher at Imola to take his third victory in four at the beginning of the season set up an almighty battle for the championship. Four further victories were enough to make the Spaniard the first man to beat Schumacher to the world title since Mika Hakkinen in 1999, even though he missed the US Grand Prix through the Michelin tyre controversy.
Alonso made it two championships in two years in 2006, with a dominant Renault aiding him to seven more race victories, including six in the first nine races. In fact, Alonso only failed to finish in the top two on four occasions in 18 races, amassing 134 points.
For 2007, Alonso made the move to McLaren, partnering a rookie in Lewis Hamilton. The move turned into a nightmare for the world champion, with a season-long tussle with Hamilton erupting into a feud at the Hungarian Grand Prix, where Alonso infamously held the British driver up in the pits during qualifying, unhappy at Hamilton breaking a team agreement.
In addition, McLaren was involved in the espionage scandal with Ferrari, overshadowing the team's exploits. Four victories ensured Alonso was in with a chance of the championship until the very end, ultimately finishing tied with Hamilton just one point behind champion Kimi Raikkonen.
A return to Renault brought more controversy, with 'crashgate' giving him victory at the inaugural Singapore Grand Prix, but the Renault was not competitive enough to challenge for the title.
With a single podium in 2009, Alonso again called time on his Renault career, this time moving to the most famous team of all.
Alonso discovered the perfect way of marking a Ferrari debut, taking victory at the 2010 Bahrain Grand Prix. Four further wins, including the infamous 'Fernando is faster than you' message to then team-mate Felipe Massa in Germany looked set to give Alonso a third title. But traffic, notably Vitaly Petrov in Abu Dhabi, handed Sebastian Vettel his first triumph.
2011 was less prosperous with just one victory to show for his efforts, whilst second place in the standings in 2012 - after a chaotic season-finale in Brazil - and 2013 would be the best Alonso would earn for the remainder of his first F1 stint.
2014 and the introduction of turbo-hybrid engines hurt Ferrari and a sixth-place finish in the standings led Alonso to make a bold return to McLaren, who had enlisted the help of Honda for 2015.
The "GP2 engine" partnership was a disaster for the team, supplier and Alonso. After four arduous seasons of hauling an underperforming car around circuits, Fernando hung up his helmet temporarily.
After dabbling in the Indianapolis 500, Dakar Rally and Le Mans, Alonso returned to F1 with Alpine in 2021 to try and close his book on the sport properly.
Despite a slowish start, he did display glimpses of the old champion in him with a stunning performance for fourth in Hungary as well as his first podium in seven years in Qatar.
The introduction of new aerodynamic regulations for 2022 afforded Alpine a clean slate, however, Alonso became very frustrated with the unreliability of the car.
When Vettel announced in late July his intention to retire at the end of the year, Alonso wasted no time in securing the vacant seat at Aston Martin.
For 2022, Alonso finished ninth in the drivers' standings, which belied his performances and racecraft behind the wheel which often drew widespread acclaim.
What can he now achieve with Aston Martin?