We’ve put together the 20 things every Formula 1 fan needs to know about Fernando Alonso. To be accepted as a Formula One driver, you have to be trusted with a car so expensive that crashing it would probably jeopardize your entire season’s pay. Thus, to be put in some of the best Formula One cars such as the Mercedes-Benz and the Ferrari monsters, you have to be really good.
And that’s exactly what Fernando Alonso is. To be precise, this man is the best Spanish Formula 1 driver ever. He was Formula 1 World Champion in 2005 and 2006, and vice-champion three times in 2010, 2012, and 2013. And during this period, he’s had the opportunity to drive some of the best Formula One cars you can ever put on a track.
This year, at the age of 36 and more than ten years after his last championship title, he’s still considered one of the best Formula 1 drivers in action and, to some people, the very best one (Hamilton and Vettel fans, just bear with me).
Because in 2005, he was the youngest driver ever to be world champion in Formula 1.
But wait. Hamilton almost did the same thing back in 2008. What’s different?
That would be driver’s grit.
Alonso has been a star driver since 2003, even at times when he’s had poor quality cars–and not just in one season but several seasons.
Now, in 2018, Alonso drives an orange-painted McLaren with a Renault engine. But still, he can push this car to the very limits and, at times, challenge established manufacturers, such as Red Bull, on the tracks.
For this and many other reasons, we’ve put together the 20 things every Formula 1 fan needs to know about Fernando Alonso. And if you’re a true fan, then you have to read on.
20THE BEGINNING OF A CAREER
Alonso was born in 1981 in the city of Oviedo, a region of Asturias in Spain. What’s interesting is that it seems that all moments of his life are related to car racing.
For instance, do you know that Alonso got his first kart at the age of 3? His father built a kart for his sister, who was 8, but she didn’t want it. Well, Alonso squeezed himself in instead. Of course, the pedals had to be adjusted for him to reach them.
And it was worth it for him to start that early. Fernando Alonso was only 8 years old when he got his first win. When he was eleven, he got his first Spanish Karting Championship and won that championship four more times. Those who know karting always say that it’s the best race-driving school. Well, it worked very well for Alonso. By the age of 17, he had many championships, including the World Junior Karting Championship in 1996.
In his first car-racing tournament, he won six out of fifteen races of the Euro Open by Nissan in 1999 and became the champion at the age of eighteen. Then, he had one season in Formula 3000, a category where young pilots make their pitch to Formula 1. He had one win, and that was it. In 2001, he started in Formula 1 with the Minardi team.