F1: 5 of the most controversial moments of Alonso's career

F1 Grand Prix of Italy
Fernando Alonso has numerous controversies to his name

Fernando Alonso is best known for his two Formula One championships in 2005 and 2006 while driving for Renault. The veteran driver from Spain has had some memorable moments in his long F1 career, that saw him capture 97 podiums and 32 wins along the way.

However, not everything has been bright for Alonso, as the Spaniard was involved in a fair share of controversies that saw him receive multiple disciplinary actions.

Furthermore, the prolific Spanish driver was a part of some of the biggest scandals in Formula One's long and illustrious history, and in this article, let us take a trip down the memory lane and look closer at five of the most controversial moments of Fernando Alonso's Formula 1 career.

#5 Brake Testing- The David Coulthard incident - 2003 European Grand Prix

Alonso of Spain and Renault in action
Alonso's actions resulted in Coulthard's accident

Fernando Alonso had a decent qualifying session at the 2003 European Grand Prix that saw him start the race in eighth place, a spot ahead of McLaren's David Coulthard.

Most of the race went on as planned but the incident between Alonso and Coulthard caused a huge stir amongst the Formula 1 community. The Spaniard, for some strange reason, chose to brake around ten meters early before going into a corner, which unsettled Coulthard, who was right on his tail at that moment.

The inconsistent brake point of Fernando Alonso forced the Briton to take evasive action, which ultimately resulted in Coulthard spinning off the race track and retiring from the race.

Alonso and Renault denied the accusation, and after further investigation, FIA deemed that there was no need for any further judicial action.

Interestingly, the Spaniard was fined by the stewards three years later at Budapest for the same offence. Alonso was penalised for brake testing Red Bull's Robert Doornbos during a free practice session at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Video: Coulthard-Alonso Incident


#4 Blocking Massa during qualifying - 2006 Italian Grand Prix

Italian F1 Grand Prix - Qualifying
Fernando Alonso was penalised for blocking Massa during the 2006 Italian Grand Prix qualifying session

Along with the 2006 Hungarian Grand Prix, Fernando Alonso was also involved in another controversy during the Italian Grand Prix.

The Spaniard was penalised by the stewards for blocking Ferrari's Felipe Massa during the qualifying session at Monza. This demoted the then champion from fifth place to the tenth place on the grid.

Fernando Alonso was clearly upset with the decision as the Spaniard felt that the stewards were unjust to his cause, and uttered the infamous words 'I no longer consider F1 a sport.'

However, all that didn't matter as Alonso suffered an engine failure during the race, which only added to his woes in what was already a frustrating weekend for the Spanish driver.

#3 Costing Hamilton crucial time - 2007 Hungarian Grand Prix

Hungarian F1 Grand Prix Race
Alonso was slapped with a five-place grid penalty for the incident

Fernando Alonso was involved in yet another controversy at the Hungarian Grand Prix. The Spanish driver was slapped with a five-place grid penalty, and McLaren was deducted 15 constructor's championship points for the incident.

Alonso was seen holding his teammate Hamilton in the pitlane during the final qualifying session right before setting his fastest lap. The delay caused by the Spaniard cost the Brit crucial seconds, which ultimately, didn't allow Hamilton to complete a hot lap at the end of the session. Alonso took the pole while Hamtion took the second spot on the grid.

For his actions, Fernando Alonso was stripped of his pole position, and the team were not allowed to score any points for the constructor's championship in that race.

Video: Alonso vs Hamilton - 2007 Hungarian Grand Prix


#2 Crashgate Scandal - 2008 Singapore Grand Prix

Singapore Formula One Grand Prix: Race
Alonso won the Singapore Grand Prix under controversial circumstances

The Renault Formula One Crash Controversy happened during the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix when Renault ordered Nelson Piquet to crash to give a sporting advantage to his teammate Fernando Alonso.

Nelson Piquet deliberately crashed on lap 14 of the Singapore Grand Prix, which prompted the deployment of the safety car. Alonso, who had visited the pits before the incident, was instantly promoted to the top of the grid as other cars pitted under the safety car. Ultimately, the Spaniard went on to win the Grand Prix after starting the race from the fifteenth place.

This scandal would never have seen the light if Nelson Piquet had not made a statement concerning the same after being dropped from the Hungarian Gand Prix, a year later.

As a result, Renault was given a disqualification from Formula 1, which was later overturned by a French court.

#1 Spygate Controversy

Brazilian Formula One Grand Prix: Practice
Alonso, in a sense, was responsible for the unearthing of the Spygate scandal

The Spygate controversy is probably the biggest scandal in the history of Formula 1, which primarily involved Ferrari and McLaren, concerning McLaren's possession of Ferrari information illegally.

Interestingly, the whole scandal came into light after the 2007 Hungarian Grand Prix fallout between Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton.

Alonso's heated argument with McLaren boss Ron Dennis in the morning of the Hungarian Grand Prix blew the whole issue out of proportion, while also playing a part in bringing new evidence into the light, which ultimately reopened the FIA investigation into the matter that was closed earlier.

McLaren was fined $100 million for the possession of confidential Ferrari information illegally, which all came to light after the cooperation of McLaren's drivers. Furthermore, the team was disqualified from the 2007 constructors championship. However, both Alonso and Hamilton were not penalised for the incident.

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Edited by Debjyoti Samanta
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