Fernando Alonso is a Spanish race car driver. He was born on July 29, 1981 in Oviedo, the capital of Asturias. He is the second child of Jose Luis, an engineer for an explosive company, and his wife Ana Maria who worked in a department store. His father, an amateur go-kart enthusiast, instilled in his son a passion for engines. Fernando quickly became a local racing phenomenon: easily and routinely beating his peers, in 1992 the Spanish Federation ordered him to start competing with older boys. He won races at a national an European level between 1993 and 1999. Adrian Campos, former F1 driver with Minardi, took him under his wing and became his manager. Alonso made his debut in Formula 1 driving for Minardi on March 4, 2001, he was barely twenty.
Despite appearing anything but competitive in a single-seater, Alonso still managed to be impressive. Fernando had the makings of a champion and the Renault team manager Flavio Briatore picked up on this right away. The combination Alonso-Renault proved to be a winner. In 2002 Alonso was hired as a test driver, but in the 2003-2004 he laid the foundation for his subsequent triumph. In 2005 he kept Raikkonen away for the entire season and began celebrating his World Championship in Brazil, with three races remaining. In 2006 however, Fernando won the Japanese Grand Prix after champion Michael Schumacher's engine failed, allowing Alonso to take the lead.
His most successful period was from 2005 to 2006 winning a full 30 podiums, 14 of which on the top step, in 37 Grand Prix. In 2007 Alonso moves to McLaren Mercedes where he began a heated rivalry with one of his team-matea, the young and emerging Hamilton. In the last race of the year, in Brazil, the two McLaren drivers were both in contention for the title. The world championship, however, would go to Raikkonen. By year’s end, Fernando and team McLaren were part ways. After two uneventful years at McLaren he was hired by Ferrari in 2010. At first, the season kicks off with Alonso in top form but it would soon end in disappointment. Alonso lost the world title in the last race at Abu Dhabi, due to a strategic error from his team.
2011 turned out to be another frustrating year as Vettel dominated the season relegating opponents to nearby standers. Alonso closed out the year with a poor fourth place in world ranking. In the last two seasons with Ferrari in 2013 and 2014, Alonso found himself driving a too little competitive car, that did not allow him to triumph in the Championship. In 2015 he decided to change team and to go back to McLaren. The new season immediately started with many difficulties: Alonso had a bad crash during winter testing thus starting this new adventure with the wrong foot, especially from a physical point of view. In addition, the new car is not one of the best as McLaren started the season using a new engine, with the return of Honda in Formula 1. His experience, however, is race after race critical to the growth of the single-seater
Despite these setbacks Alonso is a driver who in ten years of Formula 1 racing, has perfected his style making it more fluid and precise. Meticulous in his way of making a point with his car, he manages to balance cold calculation, wisdom and aggression behind the wheel. A living icon in Spain, Fernando Alonso is one of the emerging legends of Formula 1.