Fernando Alonso in 2024
Fernando Alonso is currently competing in his 21st Formula 1 season. He is looking to get his 33rd win in the sport and step on the top of the podium for the first time since 2013. Aston Martin started the season well and looked like a team that could potentially become Red Bull’s challenger, but their rivals caught up to them. The team will want to close the gap to the frontrunners in 2024. Alonso’s current teammate is Lance Stroll, who he defeats regularly.
Alonso’s current contract at Aston Martin expires at the end of 2024. Whether Alonso would like to continue for a couple more years and wait until the new regulation changes is unknown. On the other hand, Aston Martin might already start to look for a replacement, but it is not because of the Spanish driver’s abilities. Rather, the retirement potential he brings.
Alonso is currently working on other projects outside of the sport. He is the founder of the Spanish clothing brand Kimoa, and he also created A14 Management to help young drivers achieve their dreams in motorsports.
Fernando Alonso biography
Fernando Alonso first earned a seat in Formula 1 in 2001 at Minardi, after winning the Complete Euro Open by Nissan championship in 1999 and a competitive Formula 3000 season in 2000. In his first season, Alonso could not score a point, but his pace caught the eye of Renault’s then-team principal, Flavio Briatore. The Spaniard was signed as a test driver for 2002.
After Jenson Button left Renault, Alonso was promoted to a full-time driver in 2003. He stepped on the podium in his second race at the French team, and then he won his first race at the Hungaroring. With two pole positions and a victory, Alonso surpassed all the modern Renault factory team's results since their Benetton days with Schumacher. Renault had the rising trend, and Alonso was the ideal man to take them by the hand.
In 2005 and 2006, Alonso won the Drivers’ Championships against Kimi Raikkonen and McLaren and also stopped Michael Schumacher from winning his eighth title. For the first time in the 2000s, the German did not win the title. However, the Spaniard started his second title defence as a McLaren driver in 2007.
Searching for the third title
In 2007, Alonso joined McLaren, where he was paired up with a rookie, Lewis Hamilton. Hamilton was quickly up to pace and was a fierce rival. Both McLaren drivers missed on the title by a single point against Kimi Raikkonen and Ferrari, and the Spaniard also notoriously blocked Hamilton at the Hungaroring during qualifying in their internal battle.
While McLaren survived Spygate and Hamilton went on to win his first title in 2008, Alonso returned to Renault and Briatore as he was swapped with Heikki Kovalainen. The Spaniard was back to being his team’s clear number-one driver and won two races during his second span at the French team. One of those wins was at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix, where Briatore and the team instructed Nelson Piquet Jr. to crash on purpose to give Alonso an advantage on his alternative strategy. This incident became known as Crashgate.
In 2009, Alonso stayed at Renault but could only step on the podium once. As a result, it was announced in 2010 that he would join Ferrari. Alonso was the closest to winning a title as a Ferrari driver since Kimi Raikkonen did in 2007, but it never materialised. He was particularly close in 2010 and 2012 but lost to Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull both times. He also finished second in the standings in 2013, and that year at the Spanish Grand Prix, he won his last race as of now. In his final season at Ferrari in 2014, with the arrival of the hybrid era, Ferrari missed the mark, and Alonso could only step on the podium twice.
Struggling at McLaren and other adventures
In 2015, Alonso opted to return to McLaren and a new engine supplier, Honda. That project unfortunately turned into a drama for all parties, as Alonso’s best result over his four-year span in the standings was P10 in 2016. By the end of 2018, Alonso turned his back on F1. After leaving Formula One, Alonso focused on achieving the 'Triple Crown' (winning the Monaco Grand Prix, the Le Mans 24 Hours, and the Indianapolis 500).
Alonso won the 24 hours of Le Mans in 2018 and 2019, but in his three attempts at the Indy 500, he finished 29th, 31st and once did not even qualify. Alonso also won the WEC title in the 2018-19 season, won the 24 hours of Daytona in 2019, and also competed at the 2020 Dakar Rally with Toyota.
Alonso’s return to Formula 1
During the 2020 season, it was rumoured that Alonso would like to return to F1. After Daniel Ricciardo left for McLaren, he returned to Renault, now branded as Alpine. He got his form back quite quickly, was in the points for most of the races in 2021, and finished third at the 2021 Qatar Grand Prix. After the new regulation changes in 2022, Alonso was usually in the points as well but was often held back by engine failures. After a failure to extend his contract at Alpine, he joined Aston Martin, where he replaced Sebastian Vettel.
Fernando Alonso popularity
Fernando Alonso is now one of the most popular drivers in the sport, especially in Spain, where he played an essential part in growing the audience in the country. With Alonso’s key phrases in media, such as ‘El Plan’ and ‘La 33’, there is worldwide support for Alonso to step on the top step of the podium for the first time since 2013.
What is Fernando Alonso's greatest strength as an F1 driver?
As a two-time world champion and fighting some of the best drivers of all time, it is hard to find Alonso’s weaknesses. One of the Spanish driver’s main advantages is his experience, as he has been through many different situations, and it is hard to surprise him anymore. He is also well-known for his great starts off the grid, as Alonso usually positions his car well in traffic.