F1: 3 times Fernando Alonso surprisingly fell short of a Championship win
Formula One has seen multiple champions come and go over the years, and while they have all etched their name in history, every now and then there comes one special driver that just lights up the sport and transcends the simple yet competitive world of racing.
One such driver is Fernando Alonso. Making his name at the junior levels as a teenager punching well above his weight, the grit and determination of the Spaniard was there for all to see, and it is that little bit of aggression that would go on to make him one of the most polarizing figures in all of motorsport.
Having been given his debut by Minardi as an unassuming 20-year-old, the brash and brazen youngster may not have appealed to a whole lot, but there was clearly raw talent there somewhere. After impressing enough to be handed an opportunity by Renault, 2003 became the year of reckoning for the new kid on the block - winning the Hungarian GP and becoming the youngest ever driver at the time to win an F1 race.
The writing was on the wall for young Fernando, and come 2005, he had achieved the unthinkable. A seemingly unbeatable Michael Schumacher was dethroned as World Champion by Alonso, proving he was more than just a flash in the pan. Not just that, he repeated the feat a year later, to join an illustrious list of double World Champions.
But it hasn't been all smooth sailing for the Spanish superstar since then. In the wake of his shock retirement from F1, here is a trip down memory lane to recall some of those not-so-memorable Alonso moments that may have had a huge impact on his career nonetheless.
#3 2007 F1 Season (Position: 3rd)
2007 proved to be the year of change for Fernando Alonso. After a successful spell at Renault, the reigning World Champion jumped ship to McLaren, who promised so much with their superior race engineers and team strategies. But there was one problem. Alonso's new teammate was a bit like the Spaniard himself.
Lewis Hamilton may have been brought in as the second driver at McLaren, but he wasn't feeling like one from the get-go. Along with Kimi Raikkonen in Ferrari, the trio fought for the title right till the very end, where Raikkonen snatched victory from the jaws of defeat and left Alonso and Hamilton stranded just one point short.
This year proved that Alonso wasn't much of a team player either. Constant tussles with management as well as reported rifts with newbie Hamilton were compounded after the whole espionage saga enveloped the big boys of F1 and forced McLaren to concede the constructor's title to Ferrari. All in all, a disappointing season for Alonso and his new team.