Fernando Alonso’s career in video p1

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Fernando Alonso gave Spanish F1 fans the home-grown hero they'd waited for
Fernando Alonso gave Spanish F1 fans the home-grown hero they'd waited for

F1 Fanatic guest writer Journeyer looks at the career of Spain’s most successful F1 driver – twice champion Fernando Alonso.

When the Spanish Grand Prix opened in 1991, it struggled to make any profits with half-full stands. It stayed that way for the 1990s and the start of the 2000s.

That’s all in the past now, and they’re doing better than ever thanks to one man: home hero Fernando Alonso.

In the past ten years, Alonso has seen a quick rise to the top and some thrilling highs. He’s also been witness to some stunning lows.

1999: He first came onto F1’s radar when he won the Euro Open by Nissan (the predecessor to today’s World Series by Renault). That early on, he was already a favourite of the Spanish home crowd. Here’s a home video of his on-track celebration when he won that title.

2001: Despite a quiet run in Formula 3000 in 2000, Flavio Briatore was still convinced that the kid Alonso had talent. He decided to buy him a seat at Minardi (which had just been taken over by Paul Stoddart). He approached his debut race with a calm demeanour. He may not have scored points, but it was still a solid maiden run with a 12th-placed finish.

At home in Barcelona, his form began to really show. Here is an onboard shot of him as he harried Giancarlo Fisichella in the Benetton-Renault. Remember that this was the first race back with traction control (which Minardi still didn’t have by then), so it made this duel even more impressive. Other impressive feats included his qualifying lap at Indianapolis and his whole race at Suzuka.

2003: Alonso wasn’t seen much in 2002 – he was Renault’s third driver that year. But Briatore eventually moved him up to the race team in place of Jenson Button. Many thought that replacing Button with Alonso was a big mistake.

As it turned out, it proved to be a brilliant decision. He took his first pole and podium at Sepang, and took his maiden win in Budapest – lapping no less than Michael Schumacher in the process!

2004: Arguably, this was his weakest season during his first stint with Renault. He did score a second in Magny-Cours and three other podiums (in Albert Park, Hockenheim, and Budapest). But opportunities to win slipped from his reach at Monaco (shunted in the tunnel lapping Ralf Schumacher), Montreal (driveshaft failure), Spa (engine failure, spun on own oil), and here at Monza.

After a disappointing year, though, things were about to look up for Alonso. Part two tomorrow will cover his glory years, that rivalry with Hamilton, and his return to Renault.

Read more: Fernando Alonso biography

23 comments on “Fernando Alonso’s career in video p1”

  1. very nice, thank you.

    1. glad to oblige. :)

  2. cool cool cool…thanks a bunch :)))

  3. I remember watching F1 back in 1999 and listening to a spanish journalist saying that there was a guy called Fernando that hade the potential to become world champion. These kind of boast is frequent in Spanish media, but this time, it was absolutely right. I wonder if we will see Alonso winning a Championship again…

    1. I think we’ll see at least 1 more, maybe 2 more titles to go Fernando’s way.

      The big downside for him is that he’s wasting so much time in uncompetitive machinery.

    2. he’s still got pace in him, just needs the right car.

  4. Even though i’m a ‘die-hard’ Mclaren fan, i quite readily agree & accept that Alonso is simply the best driver in the grid today! Like Todd said he…”just needs the right car”!

  5. schumi the greatest
    7th May 2009, 13:01

    I Think its clear that alonso is the best in f1 right now. His performance for renault at the end of last season was phenomonel, the victories were a little fortunate but he was consistently challenging the mclaren and ferrari drivers at the end of the year.

    its sad to see him wasting another year in a woeful renault. I’d love too see him up there battling 1 on 1 with hamilton in different cars for the tittle.

    If Alonso doesnt win at least 1 more tittle before his career is over id be very suprised. He’s still very hungry for success.

    Suppose that when you look at this year there’s alot of “top” drivers in cars where they cant showcase their talent at the front of the grid: Massa, Raikkonen, Hamilton & Alonso.

    This is alonso’s 8th full season in f1 so i can see him going on for at least another 5 years. He, like schumacher won alot of races and 2 wdc early in his career so as schumachers example shows there’s plenty of time for more success.

    1. agreed on the point with schumi. but i don’t think alonso has the consistency to win 5 titles in succession. not when you have a vettel and a hamilton and a kubica all peering over your shoulder…

      alonso started in 1991, schumacher started in 1991. if alonso is following schumi’s timeline, his 3rd title may come in 2010 or 2011.

      hang on – isn’t that the year he’s rumored to move to ferrari? ;)

    2. correction: alonso started in 2001.

      his 2 titles came in 2005-2006, schumi’s came in 1994-1995. very similar paths, the two of them follow. :)

  6. Hope we can see him get his 3rd Title before he retires – as to what he said. Maybe Ferrari can give him a good car. ;)

  7. hitchcockm00
    7th May 2009, 16:40

    I’ve never really seen the big deal with Alonso and never really liked him. Probably because during the seasons where he won his titles I was a very casual F1 fan and didn’t really pay much attention.
    Now even though I still don’t see him as far and away the best driver on the grid, I am warming to him and I hope Renault give him a good car soon so that he can really start competing again.

    1. hitchcockm00
      7th May 2009, 16:41

      Good article by the way, looking forward to the next part.

  8. Great post, i hope Alonso’s luck turns for the better in terms of a decent drive soon. In my opinion, in the current crop of F1 drivers, Alonso and Hamilton are in class of their own and the rest are potential, hype and technology…

    1. Don’t forget Raikkonen and Vettel. On a good day, Kimi’s even faster than Alonso. On a bad day…

      Now, time for some Schumi – Alonso comparisons :)

      Schumacher: Early Benetton champ in 94-95, then 10 years later, champ at Ferrari.

      Alonso: Early Renault (formerly Benetton) champ, then 10 year, rumoured to go to Ferrari.

  9. There certainly wasn’t anything fortunate about his win at Japan in 2008, and in all honesty, he was quite unfortunate to not win in Belgium. Renault has shown time and time again that their IQ slips 50 points when it comes to tire strategy in the rain. Overlooked was his brilliant race (start and end in the rain) in Brazil in 2008 as well. He finished second and simply outdrove and passed Kimi to get there.

    I don’t know if Renault will return to top form with Alonso there, but the sport deserves Alonso contending for a title.

  10. Nice article, a pleasure to read (and to watch)!

    And, yes, maybe Fernando next year will be in Ferrari, but I think the situation for him and Ferrari is quite different of the Michael and Ferrari’s at that time.

    Michael was a young champion joinning an historical and economical strong team, conscious they have to make big changes to return back to the winning era. So, Michael were able to carry with him many others and build a new Team.

    If Fernando finally join Ferrari, will not be in the situation of taking with him a full team of people, and reorganize the whole team. (Despite Ferrari needs to do it urgently).

    Anyway, I think is a pity not having Fernando in a competitive team to watch him battleling with Vettel, Hamilton, Button (this year) for winning a championship.

  11. I think this is a place as good as any to post a short excerpt of the Thursday press conference in Barcelona:

    FA: In Bahrain I had a very specific problem with not enough water in my body because I lost five and a half kilos in the race and this is obviously not normal at all. It was a problem with a radiator of the car and we had some hot gas going into the cockpit, so I burned all my back with the seat and that was losing me even more water from my body, to keep the temperature in the race. So I think it was a very unlucky combination of factors that left me in that condition at the end of the race but as Nick said, I think I was in better condition when I finished the first three races compared to last year. We are also running with less aerodynamics in the cars, so maybe the high speed corners are not so demanding in terms of physical etc., so I don’t think that this year is any different compared to last year, even if the drivers lose some weight.

    Five and a half kilos! Can’t imagine how he must have been feeling after the race. I’m sure everyone’s seen the pictures though.

  12. Is it just me, or is Fernando getting more and more likable. his attitude these days seems to be softer, and his approach to the sport more genuine.
    Is it that he matured recently, or was he less outspoken and no got used to his position? anyhow, something has changed, his brilliant driving is still the same if not better, but with what i see as a new blooming in his personality I’m becoming a fan…

  13. I think that alonso is the worst driver in history!!!!!! He does not appear to me as a good driver, but a jerk with a bad personality!!!!

    1. Praveen Titus
      9th May 2009, 19:10

      the worst driver in history? People including Kaigan forget teh fact it was Alonso who shook F1 from the boredom it had been subjected to by the success of the red Ross Brawn-Jean Todt-Michael Schumacher combine. I used to get so fed up watching teh red color on teh screens every weekend day in and day out. The blue of Renault was refreshing dew as were the flashing Latino looks of Alonso in stark contrast to the bland Germanic touches on a reapidly losing hair-Schumacher. I tell u guys, F1 and motorsport is ENTERTAINMENT and I want drivers to LOOK FLASHING like cine stars. The drivers who fit teh bill in the history of teh sport include – Senna, Cevert, Peterson, Villeneuve, Reutemann, Prost, Laffite, Fittipaldi, etc. Alonso certainly is one of them.

      In contrast is Ross Brawn and nis success. That guy bored us out of our skulls by always leading Schumacher to win day in and day out. Now he’s doing teh same with Jenson Button and Brawn GP – Winning every weekend without fail. Unless some drastoic development comes from Renault, ALonso isn’t going to win and if no tema comes up with some trick out of teh bag beginning with Spain, you can already crown Jenson Button World Champion for 2009.

  14. ofc he is

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