Perceived by many to be one of the best drivers currently on the grid, the two-time world champion is just eight points from five world championships. Often unlucky with his choice of team, he rarely had a championship-winning car. But that hasn’t stopped him from being incredibly successful and well-respected.
Alonso was first sat in a kart at the age of three and in 1988, at the age of seven, won all the races in the Pola de Laviana Championship to win the title. In 1994, 1996 and 1997 he won the Spanish Kart championship. He also became the World Junior Karting Champion in 1996. His first single seater drive came in 1999 in the Spanish Nissan Open series and Alonso won the title in his first year. With a place in Formula 3000 the following year he achieved one win and was fourth overall.
Given a drive for Minardi in 2001, Alonso immediately jumped to F1. He failed to score any points that year but became Renault’s test driver in 2002. He was given a race seat for Renault in 2003 and won the Hungarian Grand Prix. He finished the season in sixth place. With Ferrari dominating once again in 2004, Alonso failed to win a race. Despite this, four podium finishes and many consistent races meant that he finished 4th in the Championship.
In 2005, Alonso secured a podium in Australia and many wins followed. He took seven victories in total that season and this rewarded him with the World Championship. Another dominant year in 2006 saw him take his second title, winning 7 races and getting 7 second places.
A move to McLaren in 2007 saw a fallout with his team, but he still had success, finishing 3rd in the championship: on the same amount of points as teammate Hamilton. A move back to Renault in 2008 saw him struggle, only winning two races and finishing just fifth overall. 2009 was a bad year, also. An uncompetitive car only saw him finish 9th overall, with just 29 points. Alonso moved to Ferrari in 2010 and he won five races. He lost out on the Championship in the final race to Sebastian Vettel.
2011 only saw him win one race – at Silverstone – but 2012 was a much better season. Once again, a battle with Vettel saw him miss out on the Championship to the Red Bull driver. Two wins in 2013 saw him finish second to Sebastian Vettel for the 3rd time.
With Mercedes completely dominating the 2014 season, Alonso failed to win a race and his Ferrari-powered car couldn’t match the pace of the Mercedes-powered cars.