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30 Interesting Facts About Fernando Alonso - A Double World Champion

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Fernando Alonso Diaz, is the Spanish Formula One racing driver, currently racing for McLaren-Honda. He is often regarded as one of the greatest Formula One drivers. Here are 30 facts to know about him:

  1. Alonso was born on July 29, 1981 in Oviedo, Asturias in Spain. He has an older sister, Lorena.
  2. Alonso was introduced to motor sport when his father, Jose Luis Alonso a mechanic by profession and amateur kart racer, built a kart for his children. He was three years old.
  3. He is an ambassador of the University of Oxford, promoting study of Motorsport of Business for Social Science. Students are financed from all parts the world.
  4. He did his schooling at ‘Holy Guardian Angel Primary School, Oviedo and later attended ‘The Institute of Leopoldo Alas Clarin, San Lazaro.
  5. At the age of 12, he won his first junior Spanish Karting Championship and retained it for next three years.
  6. Alonso became Junior World Cup Champion in 1996 and went on to win the Italian and Spanish Inter-A titles in successive years.
  7. He was first introduced to race car in October 1998 by Adrian Campos. He impressed in three days of testing and was signed-up to race in the 1999 Spanish Euro Open Moviestar of Nissan series. He won the championship from Manuel Giao by a single point.
  8. In 2000 he participated in ‘Formula 3000’ series for team ‘Astromega’to become the youngest driver to contest. He won the final race at Belgium to take fourth place in the championship 17 with points.
  9. Alonso made his Formula One debut on March 04,2001 for ‘Minardi’ at the Australian Grand Prix. He started on 19thgrid outperforming his teammate Tarso Marques to end the race 12.
  10. Alonso replaced Jenson Button in the ‘Renault F1 Team’ for 2003 season. He had clocked 1,642 laps as a test driver during 2002 season for them.
  11. He became the youngest to achieve Formula One pole position and also earned his first podium finish at ‘Malaysian Grand Prix.’ He finished creditable third in only his second race of his career.
  12. On August 24, 2003, he became the youngest driver to win a Formula One race at ‘Hungarian Grand Prix.’ The record was later broken by Sebastian Vettel in 2008.
  13. He improved his performance in 2004 with four podiums finish to end the season fourth in the driver championship with 59 points.
  14. Alonso’s win at ‘2005 San Marino Grand Prix, Italy’ was special according to him. He completed the entire race with crippled engine. It was discovered after the practice, that one of the piston had a hole in it.
  15. Alonso won his first Formula One driver’s championship in 2005, to become the youngest champion then. He ended five years of Michael Schumacher’s dominance.
  16. He along with Giancarlo Fisichella, helped ‘Renault F1’ to its first Constructor‘s Championship in 2005 dethroning ‘Ferrari.’
  17. He was awarded ‘Prince of Asturius Award for Sports in 2005. The award is awarded by Princess of Asturias Foundation for achievements in field of science, humanity and public affairs.
  18. In 2006 Formula One season, Alonso became the first driver to finish first or second in the first nine races of the season.
  19. Alonso won his second ‘Formula One Driver’s Championship’ in 2006, overcoming stiff challenge from Michael Schumacher. He is the youngest double champion.
  20. He signed a new contract with ‘McLaren Mercedes’ for 2007 season for a reported sum of US$ 39,000,000.
  21. Despite finishing third in the 2007 Driver’s Championship, Alonso and McLaren mutually agreed for termination contract on November 02, 2007. This was the result of espionage controversy between McLaren and Ferrari.
  22. On December 10, 2007, he signed a two-year contract with ‘Renault F1’ for a sum of around £ 25 million.
  23. During 2008 Bahrain Grand Prix on April 06, 2008, when Lewis Hamilton ran into his back, Alonso was accused of braking or did not accelerate as expected. It was proven wrong, when McLaren issued a statement that Hamilton’s front wing had broken seconds before the impact to be the cause of the crash.
  24. He was part of another controversy in 2008 ‘Singapore Grand Prix’ when his teammate Nelson Piquet Jr. intentionally crashed on instruction from Renault Team, to help Alonso surge ahead. Starting 15th on grid, he pitted early and was among the top six when race started after the crash. He was declared to be innocent.
  25. He moved to Ferrari for the 2010 season for a sum of € 25 million per season. His lost his driver’s championship that season due strategic error by his team. He started the final race at ‘Abu Dhabi’ with eight point lead.
  26. After moving to ‘McLaren’ for the 2015 season, he met with an accident during the pre-season testing in Barcelona. He was found to have suffered concussion and was advised to miss the Australian Grand Prix.
  27. He is passionate about cycling apart from racing. He has a plan of running a cycling team in the future.
  28. He is the only Spanish driver to have won a Formula One Grand Prix and he is sixth in all-time list of with 32 wins.
  29. Alonso and his girlfriend Lara Alvarez have split according to ‘HELLO On line’s sister publication ‘HOLA.’ The couple had been together for just over a year and made the decision mutually.
  30. Alonso was selected as the best Formula One driver on the current grid following a vote by pool of veteran journalist. He has two world titles, 32 race wins and 97 podiums to his credit.

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