Fernando Alonso: A long-lived racing prodigy

Fernando Alonso is not a record holder for the number of championship titles in Formula 1, but, of course, one of the brightest active drivers of royal racing. What makes a Spaniard so special

Фернандо Алонсо: гоночный вундеркинд-долгожитель

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  • Who is this
  • Biography
  • Personal life

Who is Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso is the most successful Spanish racing driver and, perhaps, the unique pilot of our time. A native of Oviedo in Asturias, for several years he remained the youngest two-time champion of Formula 1 (2005, 2006), and now, having crossed the 42nd anniversary, he is the oldest active participant in the royal races and already by virtue of this, the owner of many records, in particularby the number of starts and the duration of a career in the main motorsport competitions, as well as by the total length of the distance traveled in combat mode on the Grand Prix tracks. No less — two and a half circumnavigations of the equator!

Фернандо Алонсо: гоночный вундеркинд-долгожитель

Fernando Alonso (No. 14, ESP,Aston Martin Aramco Cowlant F1 team), Italian F1 Grand Prix at the Monza National Circuit, September 2, 2023 (Photo: Hoch Zwei/Keystone Press Agency/Global Look Press)

Finally, against the background of his fellow contemporaries, Fernando stands out for his amazing versatility. The Spaniard has won the World Endurance Racing Championship, the marathon “24 Hours of Daytona” and two Victorias in the legendary “24 Hours of Le Mans”. In addition, Alonso went to the start of the Indianapolis 500 three times and even took part in the equally famous Dakar rally raid. And all this in between performances in “Formula 1”!

However, after the decision of the FIA made in 2014, giving drivers the right to choose the number of the car for the entire period of performance in the royal races, Alonso opted for 14. On July 14, 1996, at the age of 14, the Spaniard became world champion for the first time, then in the junior karting series. However, Fernando started winning on race tracks much earlier…

Фернандо Алонсо: гоночный вундеркинд-долгожитель

Fernando Alonso and the Aston Martin F1 team participate in the parade of pilots before the Italian Grand Prix at the National Circuit of Monza on September 3, 2023 (Photo: Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Biography of Fernando Alonso

You can’t fool genes, although their carriers can sometimes make mistakes. Jose Luis Alonso, an explosives technician and amateur karting driver, presented a real racing car of his favorite series for the eighth birthday of his daughter Lorena. «The toy» did not interest the future doctor, but it magnetized the three-year-old brother, Fernando. His parents did not hit him on the hands. On the contrary, his father adjusted the cart pedals to his son’s height, and his mother, Ana Diaz, began sewing racing overalls for him. The family did not have enough money to buy ready-made, as well as rain tires, and Fernando, forced to drive slicks in any weather, developed an incredible feeling of the verge of breaking the car into a skid, which would later become a racer’s skate.

Fernando Alonso’s career

Over three years of participation in city competitions, Fernando has honed his innate abilities so much that at the age of five he received a real karting license, and at seven he won the championship of his native province. Bright talent was supported by sponsors, which solved the problem with financing at the initial stage of a professional racing career. Fernando lived up to expectations and, having won the national junior karting championship at the age of 12, then won this title four more times, while successfully performing at the European and world level.

Фернандо Алонсо: гоночный вундеркинд-долгожитель

Fernando Alonso (ESP— Minardi) at the Brazilian Grand Prix, Sao Paulo, 2001 (Photo: Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)

The next step was participation in the “Formula Niisan” competitions. In his debut Euro Open by Nissan championship in 1999, Fernando, having won six races out of 15, immediately became the champion. And then Alonso showed firmness of character. After switching to Formula 3000, the Spaniard did not score a single point in the first six races, but did not break down and took second and first places in the final stages.

A pilot with such qualities was not pickled in the “dressing room” of the main racing series, and in 2001 Fernando made his debut in Formula 1 at the Australian Grand Prix as part of Minardi. The team from Faenza (Italy) never grabbed stars from the sky, but allowed the future stars of the track to open up. The very next year, Alonso became a Renault F1 test driver in order to get a place at the heart of the French team in 2003, win the first race and take the sixth place in the personal standings with four podiums at the end of the season. A year later, the Spaniard is already the fourth, followed by a golden double. Alonso became the pilot who managed to break the series of five consecutive victories of Michael Schumacher. The rivalry between the two great drivers was especially intense in 2006, when Alonso, having completely lost a solid advantage in the second part of the season, eventually tipped the scales in his favor.

Фернандо Алонсо: гоночный вундеркинд-долгожитель

Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso before the start of the Brazilian Formula 1 Grand Prix at the circuit «Interlagos». Sao Paulo, October 22, 2006 (Photo: Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

It would seem, here he is, the replacement of the invincible German Red Baron! But there were other contenders for this role, and Fernando’s brilliant career, having reached its climax, stalled, which is often associated with the rare constancy of the Spaniard in the erroneous choice of the team. No, most of them belonged to the top stables (McLaren, Renault F1 again, Ferrari and McLaren again), but at the time of the Spaniard’s arrival there, they were all experiencing a decline. Among other things, the situation was sometimes complicated for Fernando by strained relations with teammates, especially with Lewis Hamilton in 2007. However, even in an atmosphere of scandals and intrigues, the Spaniard, who continued to do his job, finished the season in third place, for which he was awarded the respectful nickname Teflonso.

Фернандо Алонсо: гоночный вундеркинд-долгожитель

The collision of Fernando Alonso and Esteban Gutierrez during the 2016 Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix (Photo:Planet Photos/Global Look Press)

Whatever it was, the black streak in Fernando’s career, once started, continued. In 2016, a racer almost died when he collided with Esteban Gutierrez’s car at a speed of 300 km/h during the Australian Grand Prix. Nevertheless, having missed only one stage, Fernando returned at least to take revenge from his partner Jenson Button, who a year earlier and for the only time in his career! — lost on points in the intra-team fight. The steadfastness of the character of Teflonso, even in the absence of a truly champion car, gave more significant fruits than the complete defeat of McLaren partner, Stoffel Vandoorne, in the qualifiers. In 2007, 2010 and 2012, Fernando was separated from the first place by a few points, which were not allowed to be scored either by the mistakes of the Spaniard’s team with tactics, technical problems, or the intransigence of rivals, in particular Vitaly Petrov (Renault F1), who defended his sixth position during the final Grand Prix of the season-2010 in Abu Dhabi.

Фернандо Алонсо: гоночный вундеркинд-долгожитель

Fernando Alonso’s desperate attempts to bypass the Russian failed. Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, 2010

Since 2015, when, due to constant problems with the Honda engine, Alonso finished in points only twice and set a personal anti-record, ending up 17th in the final table, the Spaniard has not risen above tenth place for four years in a row. This was followed in 2018 by the announcement of his departure from Formula 1, which, as we now know, was not final. In 2021, Fernando, barely recovering from injuries sustained in an accident during a cycling trip, returned to the Grand Prix tracks as part of Alpine (ex-Renault F1). The third campaign for glory under the French banners did not bring much laurels to the Spaniard, but the Qatar Grand Prix gave him his first podium since 2014.

Fernando Alonso now

Фернандо Алонсо: гоночный вундеркинд-долгожитель

Fernando Alonso took 2nd place at the Grand PrixThe Netherlands F1 Grand Prix at the Zandvoort circuit, August 27, 2023 (Photo: Hoch Zwei/Global Look Press)

With age, Fernando has not lost his ambitions, but Alpine, not too believing in the potential of a pilot who has changed his fifth decade,I offered him a contract extension for only a year during the 2022 season. The Aston Martin team with the agreement scheme 1+1+1 she turned out to be much more generous and, it seems, did not lose. Although the AMR23 is not the fastest car of the peloton, Alonso came to the equator of the current championship in third place in the individual standings. The Spaniard was particularly successful in the first third of the championship, when he recorded two second and four third places in the Grand Prix. In Monaco, if there had not been a mistake with the moment of changing tires in changeable weather, Fernando had every chance to climb to the highest step of the podium, for the first time since the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix. However, the experienced Teflon still has time in reserve. And even if the desired personal Victoria does not happen, there is hope for the students. Under the veteran’s wing, several talented young pilots are gaining racing wisdom at the A14 Management school belonging to him

The personal life of Fernando Alonso

The hot Spaniard does not advertise his personal life, which does not prevent him from changing women, like “hellip; Formula 1 teams”. Twice Fernando had affairs with Russian women, Ksenia Chumicheva and Daria Kapustina. After parting in the spring of 2023 with Andrea Schlager, the TV presenter of the ServusTV channel, who covered car racing, there were conflicting reports about the new chosen one of the pilot. Both American Taylor Swift, author and performer of country-pop songs, and Spanish TV journalist Melissa Jimenez are seen in this role.

Фернандо Алонсо: гоночный вундеркинд-долгожитель

Fernando Alonso and his girlfriend Dasha Kapustina walk down the paddock after qualifying Before the Hungarian Formula 1 Grand Prix at the Hungaroring, July 26, 2014 (Photo: Lars Baron/Getty Images)

In addition to the fair sex, Fernando is fond of card tricks, to which his grandfather was addicted, and is so partial to expensive watches that ten years ago he even participated in the development of a collection “named after himself” for the Spanish brand Viceroy. As for the personal garage, according to its composition (Ferrari 458 Italia, Honda NSX, McLaren P1, Nissan GT-R), you can study the racing biography of Alonso. Outside of the race track, Fernando is a big fan of cycling and a fan of football clubs “Real” from Madrid and his native Oviedo.

People who know the Spaniard well claim that “there are two Alonzo”. One is shy, good-natured, generous, with a good sense of humor, shunning fame and not loving its external manifestations. The other, appearing in the public field, is selfish and on his own mind. The law of Unity and struggle of Opposites in action…

Фернандо Алонсо: гоночный вундеркинд-долгожитель

Fernando Alonso (ESP, Aston Martin Aramco Cignant F1 Team) at the Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix on May 28, 2023 years in Monte Carlo (Photo: HOCH ZWEI/Global Look Press)

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