Fernando Alonso is one of the superstars of modern-day Formula 1, one of only two multiple world champions on the grid. He has single-handedly rejuvenated interest in the sport in Spain.
The Spaniard took his titles with Renault in 2005 and 2006 at a time when the sport’s tyre war was at its hottest. The Michelin-clad Renaults disposed of all-comers both years, including Michael Schumacher’s Bridgestone-shod Ferrari.
The son of an explosives mechanic, Alonso is not afraid of fireworks either. His outspoken personality has led to plenty of controversy down the years. His switch to McLaren alongside rookie Lewis Hamilton in 2007 showed just what happens when you put two alpha-males in a confined space.
Now firmly established at Ferrari, Alonso endeared himself to the tifosi by winning the first race of his Maranello career, the 2010 Bahrain Grand Prix. He added four more victories but lost the title at the final race.
Alonso’s highlight at The Race Of Champions came when he won the ROC Nations Cup for Spain in 2001.
2009: Took sole podium for Renault in Singapore
2008: Two wins for Renault
2007: Equal second in the world championship with four wins
2005: Won the Prince of Asturias award
2003: Became the then youngest driver to win a grand prix in Hungary
2003: Became the then youngest driver to take a pole position in Malaysia
2002: Renault F1 test driver
2001: Made F1 debut for Minardi at the Australian Grand Prix
2000: Took 4th place in F3000 for Team Astromega, including one win
1999: Took title in his first year in the Euro Open Movistar by Nissan series
THE RACE OF CHAMPIONS HIGHLIGHTS
2001: Won ROC Nations Cup alongside Jesus Puras and Ruben Xaus