Top 20 Best F1 Drivers of all time: Part II
#14 Fernando Alonso
Next on the list at number 14 is Fernando Alonso, only after writing this list have I realised that 14 is his race number as well.
Growing up in this era of F1 racing allowed me to watch and try to understand the talent that is Fernando Alonso, the man that brought Michael Schumacher and Ferrari’s dominant reign to an end.
A Formula One test with Minardi in 2000 saw him secure a race seat with the team. It may not have been the best place to start his career with Minardi struggling for finance at the time, but as Alonso has done throughout his career he managed to extract everything out of the car and was signed by Renault as a test driver in 2002.
His move to Renault turned out to be an outstanding move by both driver and team as he became a race driver for Renault in 2003 and at the age of 22, he made Formula 1 history by becoming the youngest Grand Prix winner with his victory in Hungary.
Renault looked off the pace in 2004 season, but Alonso gave it everything, using his natural talent of improvising and being observant of threats around him, even in the most challenging circumstances. He secured the drivers’ championship with two races left of the season, Alonso at the time became the youngest title holder in F1 history.
He battled Schumacher in the 2005 season where he won his second world title, in what was Schumacher’s final season with Ferrari. It looked at the time that Schumacher was handing over the reins of the sport to Alonso, a new generation of racing drivers.
However, driver movements from then on never saw him claim the drivers’ championship for the third time.
His teams consisted of McLaren, Renault again, Ferrari and McLaren for a second time, he claimed victories in these years and came close to winning the drivers’ championship with Ferrari in 2012, missing out to Vettel by three points.
He looks set to retire from the sport this weekend at the Abu Dhabi GP, he has said he may return but we won’t hold our breath. Alonso has been an amazing driver to watch over the years, a driver that has deserved more championship but looks to have moved to teams at the wrong time.
World Championships – 2 (2005, 2006)
GP Entries – 313 (314 on Sunday – His last race in the sport)
GP Wins – 32
Podiums – 97
Last Win – 2013 Spanish GP