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Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso
Country: 
Full Name: 
Fernando Alonso Díaz
Birth Date: 
28 July, 1981
Birth Place: 
Oviedo
Driver Status: 
Current
Status Text: 
Separated
Driver Height: 
171cm
Driver Weight: 
68kg

2
Championship Titles

314
Races
32
Wins
22
Poles
2
Titles

Fernando Alonso Biography

Fernando Alonso - Alpine F1 Team driver

Fernando Alonso Career Overview and Fast Links

  • F1 Career Overview
  • Net Worth & Salary
  • F1 2021 Alpine F1 Team Launch
  • Pre-F1 Career
  • F1 Minardi (2001)
  • F1 Renault (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006)
  • F1 McLaren (2007 - "Spygate")
  • F1 Renault (2008, 2009 - "Crashgate")
  • F1 Ferrari (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014)
  • F1 McLaren (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018)
  • F1 Alpine (2021)
  • Triple Crown (Indy 500, Le Mans 24 Hours)
  • Other Motorsport Activities (Daytona 24 Hours, Dakar Rally)
  • Fernando Alonso Fast Facts

Fernando Alonso F1 Career Overview

Regarded as one of the greatest F1 drivers of all-time, double world champion Fernando Alonso makes a sensational return to F1 after two years out of the top flight, racing for the Alpine F1 Team in the 2021 F1 World Championship, the new name for the erstwhile Renault F1 Team.

Marking a return to the Enstone-based team with which he clinched his two F1 world titles in 2005 and 2006, Alonso joins on a single-year contract where he will bid to elevate the French outfit as it morphs into Alpine to reflect its niche sportscar sub-brand 

It will the first time Alonso has competed in F1 since 2018 when he concluded an unhappy four-year tenure with McLaren that failed to meet the expectations of his previous race-winning days at Renault, a Mercedes-partnered McLaren and Ferrari.

Though he hasn’t tasted the winners’ champagne since the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix, Alonso is still statistically one of the most successful F1 drivers of all-time and was responsible for ending five years of dominance by Michael Schumacher and Ferrari.

Making his F1 debut in 2001, Alonso has competed in 17 F1 seasons and started 311 races, placing him third on the all-time list behind Kimi Raikkonen (329) and Rubens Barrichello (322), the latter of which he is set to surpass in 2021.

Among Alonso’s many statistical highlights, he remains the seventh youngest driver to start an F1 race at 19 years and 218 days, his 32 career wins places him sixth on the all-time list of race winning drivers, while he is just one shy of Ayrton Senna in fifth.

He became the youngest ever race winner in F1 with victory in the 2003 Hungarian Grand Prix (22 years and 26 days) though this has since been bettered [chronologically] by Sebastian Vettel, Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc. He is also one of the youngest drivers to claim a pole position, podium and fastest lap and was the youngest F1 World Chamnpion until Lewis Hamilton and Sebatsian Vettel achieved their maiden crowns.

His 97 career F1 podiums also places him sixth on the all-time list, including 15 set consecutively between the 2005 Turkish Grand Prix and 2006 Canadian Grand Prix, while his total career points of 1899 places him third overall, though this statistic is skewed by the greater points awarded in later years compared to former compatriots. 

A steady hand, his has finished an impressive 245 races in his career from 311 starts (second only to KimI Raikkonen), this despite suffering from McLaren-Honda’s dismal reliability record in 2015 and 2017.

In addition to his F1 exploits, Alonso - already a Monaco Grand Prix winner - sought to become only the driver driver (afte Graham Hill) to achieve the fabled ‘Triple Crown’ of victory in the Le Mans 24 Hours - which he achieved in 2018 and 2019 - and the Indianapolis 500, an endeavour that he didn’t achieve in three attempts thus far.

He has also competed in the Dakar Rally, won the Daytona 24 Hours sportscar race and is an FIA World Endurance Champion.

Fernando Alonso Net Worth 2021: $240 million approx (source)

Fernando Alonso Driver Salary 2021: $20.5 million approx (source)

* third-party source

Alpine F1 Team 2021 Launch

 

Fernando Alonso - Route to F1

Born to working-class parents in the Spanish city of Oviedo, Alonso began karting from a young age after his father ‘wanted a hobby to share’ with his daughter Lorena, only for it to instead inspire the younger Fernando.

Swiftly impressing with success at local and national level before going on to succeed on the world stage (third in the CIK-FIA series in 1996 after against older rivals), enough to earn him a ‘winged’ car racing debut in 1999 aged only 17.

Competing in the predominantly Spanish-based Euro Open by Nissan - the forerunner to what would become the pan-European World Series by Nissan and then the Formula Renault 3.5 Series - Alonso eschewed the traditional route of F3 by competing in the 2.0-litre Coloni chassis, which though dated was more akin to a Formula 3000 machine.

Certainly quick but prone to issues, while Alonso was twice a race winner during the first-half of the season - including a victory on his debut in Albacete - six DNFs and one DNS in ten races left him playing significant catch up initially. However, Alonso found his stride thereafter and topped the podium in four of the final six races, with his win in the Valencia showdown seeing him come from three points behind to win the title by seven points.

F3000

HIs efforts caught the attention of teams in the F1-supporting Formula 3000, the official feeder series to the top tier of the sport. Alonso - still only 18 - joined the well-established Team Astromega for 2000, which in turn aligned him with F1 outfit Minardi which had come on as partners and ran in the same Telefonica-backed yellow livery. The role earned him a test and reserve driver role, which saw him get behind the wheel of an F1 car during private outings. 

Up against more seasoned competitors, Alonso would emerge as the revelation of the F3000 season even if it took until round seven of ten in Austria for him to get on the scoreboard, the legacy of the series featuring only a single race each weekend and mirroring F1 by scoring only the top six finishers.

However, after landing on the podium at the penultimate Hungaroring round, he wrapped up the year with a win from pole position at the esteemed Spa-Francorchamps, lifting him to fourth in the overall standings behind only Bruno Junqueira (who famously lost out to Jenson Button for a Wiliams F1 drive for 2000), the experienced Nicolas Minassian and Mark Webber, who despite his rookie status was already a seasoned international sportscar racer.

Fernando Alonso F1 Career - Year-by-Year (2001 - Present) 

Fernando Alonso 2001 F1 Results Overview
European Minardi F1 Team - PS01 Cosworth
-Races17
-Wins0
-Podiums0
-Pole Positions0
-Best Finish10th (German GP)
-2001 F1 Points0 Points
-2001 F1 Championship Standing23rd

With Minardi seeking new drivers for its 2000 F1 campaign under new owner Paul Stoddart and a chance to secure some much needed pre-season publicity for his European Aviation company, Alonso was promoted to F1 after only two seasons of car competition, thus becoming the third youngest driver to start an F1 race at 19 years and 218 days. 

Paired with Tarso Marques - who competed with Minardi for during the 1997 season - on paper Alonso suffered for an underfunded Minardi team’s continued minnow disparity compared with its rivals. Using dated Ford V10 power and lacking test mileage, Alonso nonetheless captured considerable attention for his ability to mix it more established rivals, namely Prost and Benetton, particularly in qualifying. 

Destroying Marques and then Alex Yoong (who replaced Marques for the final events) in terms of raw pace by out-quaifying them 16 to 1, Alonso’s average starting position was between 17th and 18th of 22 despite having comfortably the least competitive car on the grid. However, he could only manage a best of tenth place all season, thus ending his maiden campaign without any points.

His eye-catching efforts in unwieldy machinery quickly won Alonso fans among the sport’s upper echelon and he was subsequently brought under the wing of Flavio Briatore, who promptly added him to his driver roster under Renault, which was returning to F1 as a fully-fledged constructor in place of Benetton.

However, with Briatore eager to hone Alonso’s skills he was instead charged with intensive development work in a test driver role for the year. Credited with helping team rediscover its form after a dismal 2001 campaign, Alonso was subsequently - if controversially - given the nod over Jenson Button for a race drive in 2003 despite the Briton’s strong campaign after interest was shown by rivals Jaguar..

Fernando Alonso 2003 F1 Results Overview
Mild Seven Renault F1 Team - R23/R23B
-Races16
-Wins1
-Podiums4
-Pole Positions2
-Best Finish1st (Hungarian GP)
-2003 F1 Points55 Points
-2003 F1 Championship Standing6th

With the Renault proving competitive on Michelin rubber, Alonso was rhe revelation of the season and quickly proved a frontrunner despite his year out of competition, proving quicker than more experienced team-mate Jarno Trulli. 

Starting Round 2 of the season in Malaysia from pole position - in so doing becoming the youngest driver to do so - and finishing on the podium in only his 19th GP start, Alonso ensured Renault could take the fight to Ferrari, Williams and McLaren.

Another followed at Interlagos the following round despite being involved in a race-ending high-speed accident that hospitalised him in tricky conditions. 

A new personal best of second place on home soil assured Alono’s status as a burgeoning national hero before he reeled off a dominant maiden victory from pole position in the 2003 Hiungarian Grand Prix, winning by 16secs. He’d end the season fifth in the overall standings, just ten points shy of third overall.

Fernando Alonso 2004 F1 Results Overview
Mild Seven Renault F1 Team - R24
-Races18
-Wins0
-Podiums4
-Pole Positions1
-Best Finish2nd (French GP)
-2004 F1 Points59 Points
-2004 F1 Championship Standing4th

In what would prove a devastatingly dominant campaign for Ferrari - which won all but three races - while Renault couldn’t stay with its Italian rivals, Alonso further stamped his mark on proceedings by largely proving ‘best of the rest’ in a battle with BAR”s Button. 

Despite a modest finishing record (he DNF’d in five of 18 races, Alonso collected four more podiums to secure fourth in the overall standings, again well clear of Trulli, even if the Italian did collect a victory for Renault with his one and only career success at Monaco

Fernando Alonso 2005 F1 Results Overview
Mild Seven Renault F1 Team - R25
-Races19
-Wins7
-Podiums15
-Pole Positions6
-Best Finish1st (Malaysian GP, Bahrain GP, San Marino GP, European GP, French GP, German GP, Chinese GP)
-2005 F1 Points133 Points
-2005 F1 Championship Standing1st (1x WDC)

With regulation tweaks - no tyre changes - suiting the Michelin-shod teams over the Bridgestone tyres used by Ferrari, Renault and McLaren subsequently emerged as the cars to beat during the 2005 F1 season with Alonso engaging in a fierce duel with Kimi Raikkonen for the title, while Michael Schumacher was forced into a watching brief.

Indeed, with Schumacher’s sole win coming in the farcical US Grand Prix - when all Michelin entrants withdrew leaving six cars on the grid - Alonso’s three wins from the opening four races of the season set him on course for a triumphant title tilt.

While Raikkonen was arguably the quicker of the two during the second-half of the year, he suffered for a frailer McLaren, allowing Alonso to coast to the title with two rounds to spare, totalling seven wins from 19 races, plus podiums in all but three races. He became the youngest driver to win an F1 World Championship since Emerson Fittipaldi, while it marked Renault’s first F1 title as a constructor.

Fernando Alonso 2006 F1 Results Overview
Mild Seven Renault F1 Team - R26
-Races18
-Wins7
-Podiums14
-Pole Positions6
-Best Finish1st (Bahrain GP, Australian GP, Spanish GP, Monaco GP, British GP, Canadian GP, Japanese GP)
-2006 F1 Points134 Points
-2006 F1 Championship Standing1st (1x WDC)

Beginning the year as a favourite to defend his title, Alonso faced up to a more formidable foe in Michael Schumacher, buoyed by a much improved Ferrari machine.

Beginning the year with nine podiums in the opening nine races - including six victories - Alonso established a sizeable lead over Schumacher, prompting the FIA to look closely at his dominance, leading to a ban of the Renault R26’s mass damper. That move closed things up again at the front with Alonso winning only once more all year, but a crucial engine failure while leading for Schumacher during the penultimate round in Japan meant the Spanaird needed just a single point to wrap up the title in the finale.

He promptly achieved this to secure the 2006 F1 World Championship title by 13 points from Schumacher, who by this stage had confirmed he would retire (briefly) from the sport at the end of the season. 

Now a double world champion, Alonso sought a change of scenery for his latest title defence and after a secret meeting with McLaren boss Ron Dennis shortly before the end of the year shocked the paddock by penning a three-year deal with the British team.

Fernando Alonso 2007 F1 Results Overview
Vodafone McLaren Mercedes - MP4-22
-Races17
-Wins4
-Podiums12
-Pole Positions2
-Best Finish1st (Malaysian GP, Monaco GP, European GP, Italian GP)
-2007 F1 Points109 Points
-2007 F1 Championship Standing3rd

Replacing the Ferrari-bound Kimi Raikkonen - who had replaced Schumacher -, Alonso was once again placed ion direct competition with the Finn as he attempted to become only the eighth driver to win titles with two different teams. 

Instead he came up against an unexpected challenge from his new rookie team-mate Lewis Hamilton, who quickly lived up to a fearsome reputation carved through the junior ranks by reeling off a series of podiums before winning two races on the trot in Canada and the United States. 

Alonso won his first race in the Mercededs-powered car during Round 2 in Malaysia, following it up with success in Monaco but mid-season found himself overshadowed by his precocious new team-mate. With Hamilton emerging as a title contender, Alonso’s assumed No.1 status within the team was weakened and results appeared to suffer, with the Spaniard blaming a lack of attention on him relative to the McLaren protege.

The simmering inter-team tensions boiled over during a dramatic Hungarian Grand Prix when Alonso and Hamitlon pitted for fresh tyres prior to a final push for pole. After Hamilton ignored an earlier order to swap positions on track, putting them out of sequence, Alonso tactically waited in his pit-box ahead of the Briton before pulling away, meaning he got around to complete his pole-winning final lap, while Hamilton couldn’t get around quick enough to start his lap.

Angering Ron Dennis, the FIA duly acted against Alonso and gave him a five-place grid penalty. That lifted Hamilton into pole, which he subsequently converted into a victory.

During the angry exchanges between Alonso and Dennis post-qualifying the Spaniard embroiled himself in the ongoing ‘spygate’ scandal which alleged McLaren employee Mike Coghlan had been in contact with Ferrari’s Nigel Stepney with regards to the theft of intellectual property. While an investigation was ongoing, Alonso threatened to leak email exchanges between himself, Coghlan and McLaren test driver Pedro de la Rosa, evidence that was later submitted, prompting the investigation to be re-opened.

Alonso, Hamilton and de la Rosa were called to give evidence, with Alonso’s emails forming the foundation of an eventual conviction with McLaren, which was fined a record $100 million.

While McLaren was stripped of its points in the constructors’ standiongs, the drivers were unaffected with the title fight coming down to a dramatic finale between Alonso, Hamilton and Raikkonen. Hamilton came into the finale with the advantage, four points ahead of Alonso and seven clear of Raikkonen.

However, after Hamilton fluffed his chance of a record title win by sliding off into retirement during the previous Chinese GP, gearbox issues ultimately slowed him Brazil as he laboured to seventh. Alonso couldn’t take advantage though, his third place finish allowing the race-winning Raikkonen to leapfrog both and clinch the title by a single point.

Fernando Alonso 2008 F1 Results Overview
ING Renault F1 Team - R28
-Races18
-Wins2
-Podiums3
-Pole Positions0
-Best Finish1st (Singapore GP Japanese GP)
-2008 F1 Points61 Points
-2008 F1 Championship Standing5th

Strained relationships became irreparable between Alonso and McLaren, leading to the two parties to conclude their partnership just one year into the three-year deal.

With the decision coming relatively late in the day in the context of of the ‘silly season’, Alonso resumed relations with Renault for the 2008 F1 season, itself looking to revive its fortunes after a disappointing 2007 campaign in the wake of its talisman’s exit.

However, Renault failed to make anticipated gains over the winter and the RS28, while competitive in the hands of Alonso especially couldn’t mount a challenge to McLaren, Ferrari and BMW.

Nonetheless, Alonso did cause a surprise in Rounds 15 and 16 by ending his podium drought with wins back-to-back in Singapore and Japan. His Singapore success was not without controversy though when a seemingly fortuitous early pit-stop worked in his favour by elevating him to the front of the field when an accident involving team-mate Nelson Piquet Jr brought out the safety car before his rivals had done the same. 

With rivals wary that Renault had artificially engineer a deliberately timed crash to assist Alonso, it wasn’t until the following year that the allegations were proven when Piquet Jr - scorned at losing his seat mid-season due to disappointing results - revealed he had been asked to crash intentionally. Dubbed ‘crashgate’, Renault originally contested the claims before withdrawing them with Renault boss Flavio Briatore and engineer Pat Symonds charged with conspiracy and race fixing, prompting them to resign. 

Despite this, Alonso kept his win, which was ironically followed by another achieved on merit in conventional circumstances at the Fuji Speedway, which coupled to a this podium of the year in the Interlagos finale elevated him up the order to end the year fifth overall.

Fernando Alonso 2009 F1 Results Overview
ING Renault F1 Team - R29
-Races17
-Wins0
-Podiums1
-Pole Positions1
-Best Finish3rd (Singapore GP)
-2009 F1 Points26 Points
-2009 F1 Championship Standing9th

Rejecting an offer from Honda and Red Bull - which was about to kick-start what would go on to become a dominant era for the team - Alonso stayed with Renault for the 2009 F1 season, which in turn saw the introduction of vastly different technical regulations designed to slow the cars and make them more affordable.

Lacking the double diffuser system that made rivals Brawn, Red Bull and Toyota so competitive initially, Renault struggled for form with Alonso finding himself largely mired in the mid-field for much of the year, even if he did add a podium to his tally with a successful return to the Marina Bay Circuit in Singapore shortly after the outcome of the ‘crashgate’ scandal - which had led to a major team management reconstruction - was announced.

He ended the season ninth overall, vastly better than either Piquet Jr and Romain Grosjean - who replaced the Brazilian mid-season - after neither driver scored a point. 

Fernando Alonso 2010 F1 Results Overview
Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro - F10
-Races19
-Wins5
-Podiums10
-Pole Positions2
-Best Finish1st (Bahrain GP, German GP, Italian GP, Singapore GP, Korean GP)
-2010 F1 Points252 Points
-2010 F1 Championship Standing2nd

Long before the conclusion of the 2009 F1 season, it was confirmed Alonso would be join Ferrari for the 2010 F1 season, replacing Kimi Raikkonen, who had become disillusioned with the sport and had chosen to pursue a career in rallying. He had originally been due to drive in 2011, but Renault’s implication in ‘crashgate’ saw it withdraw full-factory backing from what would be a part-privately funded 2010 effort, allowing Alonso to be released from his contract.

With the Ferrari proving quick in pre-season testing, Alonso emerged as the early title favourite, a status he furthered with a victory on his debut with the Scuderia in Bahrain. However, in what would prove to be a closely-matched campaign that kept four drivers in close contention until the final stages of the year, Alonso wouldn’t top the podium again untl Round 11 at the Hockenheimring. 

By this stage the upper hand seemed to be favouring Red Bull’s Mark Webber and McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton, before Alonso hit his stride with three wins in four races (Italy, Singapore and Korea), However, it was form mirrored by the rapidly advancing Sebastian Vettel in the Renault-powered Red Bull, setting up a tense threw-way title finale in favour of Alonso (246), Webber (238) and Vettel (231).

With Webber all but putting himself out of contentiuon after pitting early due to excessive tyre wear, Alonso found the pole-winning Vettel his biggest threat in the race. However, while Vettel was in fine dominant form in a race he’d win, Alonso still only needed a relatively modest fourth place result to clinch the title regardless.

Instead, Alonso suffered for a poor start from the second row and then - like Webber - struggled to make headway on fading rubber, unlike lesser fancied rivals that had jumped him during the pit-stop window. As such, he found himself circulating in seventh and unable to get past a slower but stubborn Vitaly Petrov in the top speed superior Renault, with an agitated Alonso famously taking to the radio to convey his frustration at a title slipping through his grasp.

And so it proved, Alonso crossing the line seventh, allowing Vettel to leapfrog from third to first to win the first of his four consecutive world titles.

Fernando Alonso 2011 F1 Results Overview
Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro - 150 Italia
-Races19
-Wins1
-Podiums9
-Pole Positions0
-Best Finish1st (British GP)
-2011 F1 Points257 Points
-2011 F1 Championship Standing4th

With Vettel’s title marking the start of his and Red Bull’s era in the final years of the V8 architecture, Alonso found himself battle for the best of the rest in 2011. A conservative design from Ferrari prevented Alonso from doing any more than extracting the best of what he had, which was still good enough for ten podiums, including victory in the British Gramd Prix (one of seven races Vettel didn’t win).

Out-qualified by Felipe Massa in all but three races, Alonso nonetheless had the measure of his team-mate in race conditions, going on to finish fourth overall behind Vettel, Button and Webber.

Fernando Alonso 2012 F1 Results Overview
Scuderia Ferrari - F2012
-Races20
-Wins3
-Podiums13
-Pole Positions2
-Best Finish1st (Malaysian GP, European GP, German GP)
-2012 F1 Points278 Points
-2012 F1 Championship Standing2nd

Extending his contract with Ferrari for another three seasons, Alonso re-engaged in a season-long dual with Vettel once more, whose Red Bull had been reined in by the switch to higher-degradation Pirelli tyres which led to a record seven different race winners from the opening seven rounds. 

Alonso was the first driver to score two wins with success in Round 2 snd Round 8 in Malaysia and on home soil in Valencia before a third success in Germany swelled his advantage overall to 34 points at the mid-way point in the year.

Eventually, however, Vettel got to grips with the Pirelli architecture and assisted by a streak of four late season wins headed into the final three events back ahead by ten points. Though Alonso responded, it wasn’t enough to unseat Vettel to fall short by just three points. 

Fernando Alonso 2013 F1 Results Overview
Scuderia Ferrari - F138
-Races19
-Wins2
-Podiums9
-Pole Positions0
-Best Finish1st (Chinese GP, Spanish GP)
-2013 F1 Points242 Points
-2013 F1 Championship Standing2nd

For 2013, Alonso once more found himself toe-to-toe with Vettel in what was a fairly evenly-matched tussle initially as they shared two wins apiece early on, the Spaniard triumphing in China and - emotionally - in Barcelona. 

However, they would prove his only successes of the year (and his last victory in F1 as of March 2021) before Vettel’s ten wins in the final 11 races put significant air between himself and Alonso.

Indeed, while nine podiums in total allowed Alonso to notch up the runners-up spot for the third time in four years, he was becoming frustrated at Ferrari’s inability to penetrate Red Bull’s stranglehold on the world title with relations reportedly cool between himself and top management.

Fernando Alonso 2014 F1 Results Overview
Scuderia Ferrari F138
-Races19
-Wins0
-Podiums2
-Pole Positions0
-Best Finish2nd (Hungarian GP)
-2014 F1 Points161 Points
-2014 F1 Championship Standing6th

Heading into 2014, Alonso hoped the latest overhaul in technical regulations - which saw the introduction of new V6 Hybrid engines - would motivate a change in fortunes. However, Ferrari found itself behind its rivals in terms of power unit performance with the team forced back into the upper mid-field, rather than challenging for wins. 

Indeed, while the Ferrari power unit was fairly reliable it was outclassed by the superior unit from Mercedes. It led to Ferrari struggling against not only the dominant factory team but also its customer teams, namely Williams and occasionally Force India. 

Alonso made hay with a podium in China and Hungary, which coopled to only a pair of DNFs allowed him to salvage sixth overall in the standings, however he had already decided by this atage he wouldn’t re-sign with Ferrari in favour of heading up an ambitious new project back with McLaren and new engine partners Honda for 2015.

Fernando Alonso 2015 F1 Results Overview
McLaren-Honda MP4-30
-Races18
-Wins0
-Podiums0
-Pole Positions0
-Best Finish5th (Hungarian GP)
-2015 F1 Points11 Points
-2015 F1 Championship Standing17th

Having left McLaren under something of a cloud in 2007, Alonso returned with renewed optimism courtesy of its new tie-up with Honda, which evoked memories of their devastating dominance with the likes of Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost between 1988 and 1992.

However, it didn’t take long for issues to emerge, Honda very publicly proving other teams’ claims the V6 Hybrid architecture - while clever - was complicated and costly to produce from scratch. After rumours of significant issues in development, Honda’s problems were laid embarrassingly bare during pre-season when it repeatedly broke down. 

At the end of the first four-day test, the power unit had completed only 79 laps, compared with Mercedes on 516 laps, which swelled to 984 laps when its four-powered teams are taken into account. 

Issues worsened when Alonso was involved in a curious accident which speared him into the wall at an unusual point on the circuit. Blaming a locked steering wheel despite McLaren refuting this claim, it nonetheless led to hospitalisation and ruled him out of the remainder of testing and the opening round. 

On Alonso’s return for Round 2, the Spaniard found a car that wasn’t notably quicker or more reliable, making the prospect of points increasingly fanciful. Eventually Alonso cracked the top ten with a tenth place finish at Silverstone, which he followed up with a run to fifth in the Hungarian Grand Prix where the lack of straights and car friendly wet conditions allowed him to make the most of high attrition to scale the field.

They would prove his only points of the year though with the poor reliability leading to numerous grid penalties tied to component changes. With Alonso languishing in 17th overall, it prompted rumours he was seeking an exit from the team already but eventually stayed on board.

Fernando Alonso 2016 F1 Results Overview
McLaren-Honda MP4-31
-Races20
-Wins0
-Podiums0
-Pole Positions0
-Best Finish5th (Monaco GP US GP)
-2016 F1 Points54 Points
-2016 F1 Championship Standing10th

With a moderately more competitive and reliable McLaren-Honda MP4-31 under him, Alonso enjoyed a more fruitful 2016 F1 campaign even if the team remained mired in the mid-to-lower mid-field fighting in the lower reach of the points. 

Alonso’s season started with a dramatic bang when he was involved in a huge accident during the curtain raising Australian Grand Prix, prompted by him clipping a defending Esteban Gutierrez on the run down to Turn 3. Sending him soaring over the Haas and barrel-rolling against the left-side barrier, the destroyed McLaren came to rest propped up against the Armco in the gravel trap.

Reminiscent of the infamous 1996 Australian Grand Prix opening lap when Martin Brundle catapulted over the field under braking for the same corner, mercifully Alonso was able to walk away from the smash, though was later ruled out of the following event in Malaysia after being diagnosed with a fractured rib. 

Top six results followed in Russia and Monaco with Alonso hauling the McLaren into solid top ten results by the season end, allowing him to end the year a much improved tenth overall. 

However, this didn’t stop him becoming vociferous in his criticism of the Honda power unit - partricularly an obvious disparity in top speed compared with rivals - famously branding it a ‘GP2 engine’ during the firm’s home Japanese Grand Prix when he was being easily overtaken.

Fernando Alonso 2017 F1 Results Overview
McLaren-Honda MCL32
-Races19
-Wins0
-Podiums0
-Pole Positions0
-Best Finish6th (Hungarian GP)
-2017 F1 Points17 Points
-2017 F1 Championship Standing15th

Despite ongoing rumours that he would seek a way of his McLaren deal, Alonso stayed on board for 2017 in the wake of Zak Brown coming on board as CEO after Ron Dennis was forced out of the company in 2016. 

However, with Honda under pressure from McLaren - with whom relations had now become strained - to focus on improving performance, it instead had the effect of hampering reliability with Alonso enduring arguably an even tougher season than in 2015 coloured by 11 DNFs from 20 races.

When the McLaren MP4-32 was dependable, it wasn’t quick enough to earn Alonso anything more than three points’ finishes in Azerbaijan (9th), Hungary (6th) and Mexico (10th), dropping him to 15th in the standings. 

Becoming frustrated with his waning F1 fortunes, Alonso instead looked towards glory elsewhere in 2017 leading to an unconventional decision to enter the Indianapolis 500 with Andretti Autosport in pursuit of the fabled ‘Triple Crown’ - victories in the Indy 500, F1 Monaco GP and the Le Mans 24 Hours. The move came with full backing from McLaren, which released him from duties of competing in the Monaco Grand Prix as a result (more below).

Fernando Alonso 2018 F1 Results Overview
McLaren F1 Team MCL33 Renault
-Races21
-Wins0
-Podiums0
-Pole Positions0
-Best Finish5th (Australian GP)
-2018 F1 Points50 Points
-2018 F1 Championship Standing11th

With McLaren and Honda ending its tempestous partnership at the conclusion of the 2017 F1 season, Alonso chose to remain on board in the hope a switch to Renault power would rervive beleaguered British team.

However, while the MP4-33 was certainly more of a match for the mid-field runners and Alonso was competitive with top eight results in the opening five races - including a fifth place finish in the season opening Australian Grand Prix - the fact Honda’s new partners Toro Rosso were quickly able to pick up points finishes raised murmurings the engine supplier was not the sole reason for McLaren’s ills.

Though Alonso continued the good form with points in ten races, the McLaren with solid Renault power was betrayed for being something of a handful to drive, while the Toro Rosso - though still underpowered - was well integrated with the Honda, leading to Red Bull taking it on for 2019 and turning it into a race winner.

WIth only one points’ finish from the last eight races, it was evident Alonso was becoming disillusioned with F1 and disappointed McLaren didn’t take a discernible step forward without Honda, led him to look elsewhere for 2019. However, with bridges burned at Ferrari and neither Mercedes nor Red Bull interested in the two-time world champion, he was left without a drive for 2019.

Fernando Alonso will drive with Alpine F1 Team in the 2021 F1 World Championship

With his reputation for being a somewhat fractious team player - which in turn deterred the big teams able to satisfy his salary demands and expectations from targeting him - it was loosely assumed Alonso had now completed his final F1 race after no approaches in 2019 or 2020.

However, having retained good relations with Renault and the team needing a big name to replace Daniel Ricciardo, who had caught it unawares by defecting to McLaren, Alonso will return with the French outfit for the 2021 F1 season as it morphs into the Alpine F1 Team in a nod to its niche sportscar brand.

A deal with multi-functions for team and driver alike, Alonso - now 39 - has signed a one-year contract which many have taken to assume will provide a test of whether he can rediscover his best form and whether Alpine - after seasons of underachievement as Renault- can give him the car he desires to fight at the front. 

Moreover, Alonso is expected to play a major role in helping the team develop its 2022 F1 car, which will be built to significantly different regulations. With Alpine not expecting to challenge for the title in 2021, it is set to siphon significant time, money and development into the fresh project with help from an experienced Alonso, a move that it is tipped could be transformative for the well-funded outfit if Mercedes and Red Bull et al. become more pre-occupied with its 2021 efforts.

Fernando Alonso and the ‘Triple Crown’

Indy 500

With the McLaren-Honda project failing to meet expectations, Alonso instead launched a bid for glory outside of F1, dovetailing his 2017 commitments with a surprise entry into the Indianapolis 500.

Announcing he wanted to clinch the so-called ‘Triple Crown’ - victories at the F1 Monaco Grand Prix, Indianapolis 500 and the Le Mans 24 Hours - Alonso had already achieved the former but was yet to attempt either of the latter. 

As such, with new McLaren boss - native American - Zak Brown seeing it as a good marketing opportunity for the brand to distract from its faltering F1 fortunes and with Honda supplying engines in the IndyCar Series, a deal was struck that would see Alonso race a McLaren-liveried Honda-powered Dallara prepared by Andretti Autosport, the latter of which the Brown also had an interest in.

Competing under the McLaren Honda Andretti banner, Alonso was something of a revelation and battled it out up at the front of the field for the majority of the race, nosing into the lead on four occasions and leading a total of 24 laps, before an engine failure with 21 laps to go ended his hopes.

With no F1 drive in 2019, Alonso resumed with McLaren, this time going it largely alone with ex-Force India boss Bob Fernley in charge, for a second tilt at the Indy 500. However, it suffered for the set-up’s inexperience with a catalogue of issues afflicting him, most embarrassingly a failure to convert inches to the metric system meaning his car was too low during a pivotal qualifying run that prevented him from making the cut for the race.

With McLaren proceeding to go into partnership with experienced outfit Schmidt Motorsports to compete as the Arrow McLaren SP team for a full season of IndyCar in 2020, Alonso joined the set-up for a third tilt at Indy 500 glory. However, it was a troubled race with clutch issues leaving him 21st.

Le Mans 24 Hours

While the Indy 500 continues to elude his Triple Crown attempts, Alonso has now added Le Mans 24 Hous glory to his roster with overall wins in 2019 and 2020.

As part of a deal that would see him join Toyota to compete in the entire 2018-2019 FIA World Endurance Championship, the season would incorporate two Le Mans 24 Hours races, in June 2018 and June 2019.

With Porsche’s exit making Toyota the sole remaining full-factory LMP1 effort, Alonso - together with co-drivers Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakjima - was almost entirely engaged in a two-way battle between themselves and the sister car of Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez, with the privateer LMP1 entries at Le Mans lapping around four seconds a lap slower.

After Alonso won on his WEC debut in the Spa 6 Hours, he - along with Buemi and Nakajima - successfully translated that into a win from pole position in France. More wins followed in the Sebring 12 Hours and a second Spa 6 Hours, earning the trio the WEC title before returning to Le Mans and winning the blue riband race for a second time.

Other motorsport activities

Alonso prepared for his round-the-clock adventure at Le Mans by entering the 2018 Daytona 24 Hours, which uses LMP2-style prototype regulations. Driving with the Zak Brown-owned United Autosports team at the wheel of a Ligier JS P2 alongside Lando Norris and Philip Hanson, the trio would prove quick but the car frail as it laboured to 38th at the finish.

Returning in 2019, Alonso switched to the title-contending Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R alongside Toyota stablemate Kobayashi, Jordan Taylor and Renger van der Zande, the quartet claiming victory in the rain-shortened race.

Alonso has also competed in the gruelling Dakar Rally, entering the 2020 event in a Toyota with experienced multiple winner Marc Coma acting as co-driver.

Competing in the inaugural rally raid to be held in Saudi Arabia, Alonso suffered mechanical issues and a roll but made it to the finish in 13th, with a best stage finish of second position.

Fernando Alonso Fast Facts

  • Fernando Alonso regards his No.14 race number - which he has used throughout his career - as his ‘lucky number’ and has used it since karting

  • His driving style is widely celebrated among peers and commentators alike, Alonso considered to be a master of extracting the best of his machinery and has only once been out-scored by a team-mate (Jenson Button in 2015). *Note: He finished level on points in 2001 (Tarso Marques) and 2007 (Lewis Hamilton)

  • He is the only modern era racer to have won FIA World Championships in different disciplines (F1 and WEC)

  • Come 2017 he remained one of the world’s top earning athletes and featured on the Forbes Celebrity 100 in 2008 and 2017.

  • He is the founder and brand ambassador of fashio retailer Kimoa and has set up a junior team that competes in karting, Spanish F4 and the Formula Renault Eurocup named FA Racing.