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Fernado Alonso was born on 29 July 1981 in Oviedo, Spain. It was at the age of three when he first got his hands on a car(Kart). Fernando’s father José Luis Alonso, a big kart fan, built a kart for Fernando’s elder sister Lorena. Lorena didn’t enjoy racing karts but her younger brother certainly did. This is how his father set him up on road for a prosperous future which would see him win two World Championships.
As Fernando grew up he won various karting championships in Spain as well as in other parts of Europe.
Year By Year Achievements:
1998: Fernando Won The European Karting Championship.
1999: Strong races in European Karting championship attracted the attention of many and he was awarded a place in the Euro-Open Movistar Nissan single-seater series which he won easily with nine poles and six wins.
2000: Next up was the Formula 3000. He raced in Formula 3000 for the Astromega team and won the Belgium Grand Prix on road to finishing fourth in the championship.
2001: Strong drives in Formula 3000 landed Fernando a seat in Formula 1 with Minardi team. He out-qualified his teammate Tarso Marques by 2.6 seconds on his debut. As the season progressed, the Minardi car proved to be unreliable and slow but some impressive drives caught the attention of many teams up and down the paddock. The most impressive being tenth place finish in the German Grand Prix.
2002-2003: In 2002 Alonso signed with the Renault team as the test driver but impressive performances during testing meant that the team dropped Jenson Button for 2003 and took on Fernando Alonso. He took his maiden pole position at the 2003 Malaysian Grand Prix.
2004: Alonso stayed on with Renault for 2004 and scored podiums in Australia, France, Germany and Hungary. Alonso finished fourth in the championship standings with a pole position in France.
2005: In 2005 Giancarlo Fisichella joined Renault as a teammate of Fernando Alonso. The season saw Alonso take a number of wins and some close fights with the Mclaren of Kimi Raikkonen. Michael Schumacher had to cope up with a bad handling Ferrari and this gave an opportunity for Alonso to win the drivers championship.
He won the Driver’s championship in the 2003 Brazilian Grand Prix.
Speaking after wining his first World Championship here is what he had to say: “I just want to dedicate this championship to my family, and all my close friends who have supported me through my career. Spain is not a country with an F1 culture, and we had to fight alone, every step of the way, to make this happen. A huge thank-you should also go to the team as well – they are the best in Formula One, and we have done this together. It will say that I am World Champion, but we are all champions – and they deserve this.”
More importantly, 2005 saw the end of Michael Schumacher’s run of four consecutive World Championships.
2006: In 2006 Renault again managed to produce a competitive car while Ferrari struggled early on in the season. Some strong races by Schumacher saw both Fernando and Michael on equal points at the end of Chinese Grand Prix. In the 2006 Japanese Grand Prix, Schumacher’s engine failed while Fernando went on to win the race. This gave Alonso a 10-point advantage in the World Championship, meaning he needed only one point in Brazil to seal the title. In Brazil, Alonso finished second while Schumacher finished fourth; thus giving Fernando a second World Championship victory.
2007: In 2007 Fernando joined Mclaren-Mercedes. In the 2007 season, Fernando won the Malaysian, Monaco and the German Grand Prix. At the end of the season, the relationship between Fernando and Hamilton deteriorated and Fernando was allowed to leave Mclaren two years before his contract ended. He finished third in the championship at the end of 2003 season.
2008-2009: After a turbulent year with Mclaren, Fernando returned with Renault for the 2008 and 2009 season. But, the Renault car didn’t prove to be competitive in either season. Still Alonso managed to win two raced in the 2008 season. At the end of 2009 when Nelson Piquet was dropped by Renault, he revealed that the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix was fixed and said that Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds told him to crash in order to bring out a safety car, which ultimately gave Alonso advantage over other cars.
Fernando finished fifth in the 2008 Championship standings while in 2009 he finished 9th with only 26 points.
2010: The 2010 season saw Alonso at the wheel of a Scuderia-Ferrari. Alonso won the first race of the 2010 season but Ferrari couldn’t keep up with the development race and so Fernando and Ferrari team struggled during the next few races. In the 2010 German Grand Prix, Ferrari regained their Bahrain form and Alonso won the German grand Prix but the team was later fined for using team orders. Felipe Massa had been leading the German Grand Prix but the Ferrari team used team orders which allowed Fernando to pass Felipe.
Note: In 2010 team orders were banned.
Strong races in Italy, Singapore and Korea meant that Alonso entered the final race of the season with eight point lead over Vettel. But a strategic error by the Ferrari team saw Fernando stuck behind Vitaly Petrov for rest of the race. He finished second in the World Championship.
2011: The Scuderia Ferrari couldn’t produce a race winning car for 2001 season and Alonso spent most of the season behind the likes of RedBull and Mclaren. He won only one race during 2011 season and that was the British Grand Prix. Alonso finished the season fourth just one point behind RedBull’s Mark Webber.