Fernando Alonso Biography
Fernando Alonso was born in Oviedo
on 29th July 1981. His father, Josť Luis, an explosive expert, had dreamed as a
child of racing karts and he tried to instil this passion in his eldest daughter,
Lorena, who at the age of eight, tried her hand in a kart built by her father.
It was not a great success, so it was time for little Fernando to have a go at
the tender age of three.
Thus began a career that would lead to the Formula 1 world championship titles in 2005 and 2006 and that this year, sees the Spaniard join the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro driver line-up.
His first official win came in June 1988, at Pola de Laviana, on his debut in a junior category event as part of the Asturias championship. Fernando went on to win all remaining seven races, thus taking his first title. The following two years brought further victories in the Asturias, Navarra and Basque regional championships, before moving on to the national series in 1991. From 1993 to 1996, Fernando was crowned Spanish junior champion, but more importantly, he began to make his mark at international level: third in the '95 World Championship and first the following year. In 1997, the young Spaniard took the titles in his home country and in Italy in the Inter-A category: he took the former title again in 1998, when he also came second in the European championship. It was in October of this year that Fernando drove a real race car for the first time: at Albacete, Adrian Campos ran him for three days at the wheel of a Formula Nissan and, at the end of the test, Fernando's times were on a par with those of Marc Gene, who had taken pole position in the same car a few days earlier. This performance earned him a seat in the Campos team for the following year's Euro Open championship, which he won as he pleased.
On the 13th December 1999, at Jerez, the Minardi team gave Fernando his first taste of driving a Formula 1 car, as part of a test session for young hopefuls and the Spaniard was easily quickest. In 2000, he raced in Formula 3000, finishing fourth, as well as winning on the most challenging circuit, namely Spa. In the meantime, Minardi put him under contract to race in Formula 1 the following year. In 2002, his manager, Flavio Briatore, secured him the role of test driver for Renault, which would prove useful experience, when he became a race driver for the French team the next season. He gained his spurs that year, taking pole at Sepang, second place in Barcelona and a win in Hungary, finishing sixth in that year's championship.
After consolidating his reputation in 2004, he took his first title in 2005, with one round remaining, after a duel with Kimi Raikkonen's McLaren, winning seven races on the way. He did the double twelve months later, again in Brazil, but this time battling a rival by the name of Michael Schumacher in a Ferrari. In 2007, his move to McLaren ended prematurely, for well documented reasons. Fernando won four Grands Prix, with the title going down to a three-way battle with team-mate Hamilton and eventual winner Raikkonen in the Ferrari.
Fernando's second stint at Renault was not so successful. After a difficult start, 2008 ended with two good wins in Singapore and Fuji, while 2009 was a barren year in which he finished ninth in the championship.
On 30th September came the announcement that he was moving to Ferrari until the end of the 2012 season.
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