The Spaniard has fashioned waves in the Formula One circuit ever since his introduction, at the age of 20, with Minardi. Alonso claimed an impressive tenth spot in the German Grand Prix in 2001 - his best result in the debut season. Flavio Briatore was quick in spotting the youngster and roping him in to the Renault family, as a test driver for the returning team in 2003. The rest, as they say, is history.
Today, Alonso is holding on to resilient records and is tightly positioned in the acme of the sport. The 26-year old has experienced enterprising highs and dismal lows in his F1 career. The Spaniard was touted as the ‘next Schumacher’ after claiming victory in Hungary in his very first season with Renault.
Prolonging championship battles between Raikonnen and Alonso for the future were already forecasted due to the magnitude of impact that was created by Alonso at his tender age. Followers were impressed with the ‘buoyancy on demonstration’ during difficult state of affairs.
“Spa is my favorite place to drive an F1 car,” Alonso was quoted as saying after claiming second position in the podium during the 2005 Belgian Grand Prix. He was highly successful at the same circuit during his adolescent years racing in the Formula 3000 Championship.
During the 2006 season, Alonso achieved a bravura accomplishment by becoming the first-ever Spanish driver to win the home grand prix.
His first two seasons with Renault gave him the perfect launching pad into bigger, better results and enough encouragement to the team to enhance its engine to the optimum. In 2005, his engineers provided him with an almost ‘unblemished’ machine that deserved a rating of 10/10 in terms of reliability. Alonso clinched seven victories and created history by becoming the youngest world champion in F1 history.
One of the highlights of Alonso’s career has been his ferocious battle with Michael Schumacher in the 2006 season. It is a revelry which can certainly be decorated as one of the supreme wheel-to-wheel dramas in recent years. The exclusivity of the contest was that it was between a juvenile champion defending his crown and a legend, probably the biggest of them all, who was in the last lap of his career and had one last shot at grandeur.
Alonso’s adversaries have evolved over the seasons with the likes of Raikonnen, Hamilton, Massa, Kubica and Rosberg proving their mettle and taking the future of Formula One to greater heights.
He returns to the Renault unit after a short stint with McLaren, a season which is rather inexplicable in terms of controversies, the tragedies and the ultimate outcome. Alonso fell just one short of three successive world championships, but reaffirmed his stature in the sport, gathered fresh detractors, and more importantly, was propped up by devoted fans.