Fernando Alonso
Fernando  Alonso
McLaren-Honda-Andretti
Fernando Alonso
rank
28
Career stats
Verizon IndyCar Series
Championship
Indy 500 Wins
Total Poles
Race Wins
Birthday
Jul 29, 1981
29 Honda Spain Sunoco Rookie
Merchandise Link Purchase Gear
Hometown
Oviedo, Spain
Residence
Oviedo, Spain

Biography courtesy of Formula1.com

Fernando Alonso is the man who ended Michael Schumacher’s Formula One reign, and became the then-youngest champion in F1 history. A second consecutive crown was confirmation of his brilliance, and with Schumacher retiring, Alonso seemed certain to replace him as the sport’s dominant superstar.

Agonisingly, no titles have followed in the intervening years. A fractious move to McLaren, and subsequent spells with Renault and Ferrari, yielded success in the form of 17 victories and three championship runner-up finishes - but not the one piece of silverware he really desires. Perhaps ironically, it has been in inferior machinery that Alonso has come to be regarded as one of the finest drivers not just on the current grid, but in history. Given his calibre, his relentless hunger and determination, there is still much to achieve...

Born on July 29, 1981, in the Spanish city of Oviedo, Fernando Alonso’s racing career started when he was just three years-old, when he was the lucky recipient of a kart made by his father, originally for a less than enthusiastic older sister. Alonso took to racing like the proverbial duck to water. After four years spent ‘playing’ with the homemade kart, local and then national competitions swiftly followed.

The young Alonso’s talents knew no bounds and in 1992 he clinched the first of five Spanish karting championships, a tally only overshadowed by a world crown in 1996. Eschewing other series, the Spanish teenager was determined to finish his apprenticeship in karting. An offer to drive in Formula Nissan, however, proved too much of a temptation and Alonso joined ex-Formula One driver Adrian Campos’s team. With typical aplomb he won the title, showing he was more than capable of making the switch to racing with gears.

A problematic move to F3000 in 2000 was but a brief hiccup, and a Formula One test with Minardi that same year secured him his first F1 race drive with the team. It would prove to be a baptism of fire. Minardi, struggling for money and resources, was far from an ideal debut seat, but after outshining team mates Alex Yoong and Tarso Marques in qualifying, and with a tenth-placed finish in Germany, Alonso was signed by Renault as a test driver for 2002.

The move proved a masterstroke for team and driver alike. With his raw speed and fierce commitment much in evidence, the test seat became a race drive for 2003. Alonso surpassed his promise with ease and, at the age of 22, made Formula One history, becoming the youngest-ever pole sitter in Malaysia and then the youngest Grand Prix winner with a maiden victory in Hungary. That, however, was just the beginning.

Renault were off the pace in 2004, but the following year Alonso pushed the French team’s ever-improving machine to its limits, drawing on his natural consistency and flair for improvising in even the most challenging circumstances. Claiming the drivers’ crown with two races left to run, Alonso - then the youngest title holder in F1 history - instantly became Michael Schumacher’s heir apparent. A second successive title - deservedly won at Schumacher’s expense during the German’s final season - served to bear out Alonso’s position as the vanguard of a new generation.

For 2007 he moved to McLaren, giving him the chance to become the first man since Juan Manuel Fangio to score successive championships with different teams. But while the car was quick, so was his team mate Lewis Hamilton, and an intense rivalry saw the pair finish level on points, beaten to the crown by a single point by outsider Kimi Raikkonen. It was a disappointing end to a frustrating year for Alonso, whose relationship with McLaren grew increasingly strained, particularly after his evidence helped condemn the team in the Ferrari ‘spy scandal’ affair. It was hence no surprise when news came that he would be returning to Renault for 2008.

Renault’s ’08 machine was no championship contender, but that didn’t stop Alonso showing his class. As the season progressed he was pivotal in transforming the R28 from a lacklustre performer into a race-winning machine. He took it to back-to-back victories late in the season, first at the inaugural Formula One night race in Singapore, and then in Japan.

Sadly that form did not continue into 2010 and the R29's lack of pace saw Alonso on the podium just once, in Singapore. Three days later that season’s worst-kept paddock secret was confirmed - that he would move to Ferrari for 2010 to partner Felipe Massa. There he made an instant impression, winning on his debut for the Scuderia and quickly establishing authority over his new team mate. Though the car struggled at subsequent rounds, the team were back on form by July and Alonso took a further four wins as he made up a 47-point deficit in the standings to go into the final round a strong title contender. But poor pit-stop strategy in Abu Dhabi halted his charge up the table and he ultimately finished second by just four points to new world champion Sebastian Vettel.

Season two with Ferrari was to prove yet more frustrating, with the team’s 150° Italia rarely able to match its Red Bull and McLaren opposition. Despite that, Alonso took victory at Silverstone and a further nine podiums as he consistently out-drove his machinery en route to fourth in the final driver standings, a solitary point shy of Mark Webber in Red Bull’s title-winning RB7.

2012 was to prove a better season, although in the underwhelming F2012 he was made to fight for every point. Stellar results, such as his against-the-odds win in the rain at the Malaysian Grand Prix and victory in front of an adoring home crowd in Valencia, put Alonso at the head of the drivers’ standings for much of the year. He was eventually overhauled by a rampant Sebastian Vettel with three races to go, but had he not been taken out on lap one in both Belgium and Japan it might well have been him, and not the German, taking a third world title. As it was, Alonso missed out by three points.

Alonso’s early 2013 season was blighted by inconsistency, but fine wins in China and Spain plus seven further podiums meant he finished a clear, albeit distant, second overall to Red Bull's all-conquering Vettel, despite his Ferrari F138 being not even the second-best car.

2014 followed the now all-too familiar feeling of frustration. Ferrari’s F14 T proved uncompetitive, and while Alonso’s heroics rescued two podiums, the team failed to win for the first time 1993. Needing new energy, Alonso opted to part ways with the Scuderia and return to ‘unfinished business’ at McLaren.

Once more, Alonso' choice of timing for a team move was not fortuitous. While a rejuvenated Ferrari took the fight to Mercedes, McLaren dropped to the back of the grid, their revived partnership with Honda getting off to a highly difficult start. The team's MP4-30 machine was painfully slow and unreliable, and in it Alonso scored in just two races, ending the 2015 season with a meagre 11 points.

His 2016 campaign started in spectacular fashion as he walked away from a huge crash at Melbourne’s Albert Park. It forced him to sit out the following round, but he went on make the very most of his somewhat improved McLaren machinery, with some feisty drives - including a superb fifth place in Monaco - earning him 54 points, more than twice that of team mate Jenson Button.

In 2017, he joined Andretti Autosport as a one-off for the 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race presented by PennGrade Motor Oil.

 

29
CAREER STATS
YEAR SERIES STARTS WINS POLES** TOP 5 TOP 10 LAPS LED RAF
2017 Verizon IndyCar Series 1 0 0 0 0 27 0
Total 1 0 0 0 0 27 0

** Includes all poles, including those awarded based on entrant points

RAF = Running at Finish


McLaren Honda Andretti Autosport

After 38 years, the McLaren name is making a return to the Indianapolis 500. Partnering with Andretti Autosport and Honda, the Formula One figurehead makes its first appearance in Indy car racing since 1979, bringing the British brand made famous by founder Bruce McLaren back to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. McLaren holds a lush history in its Indy car past, with two wins at the “500,” both from Johnny Rutherford in 1974 and 1976, along with a handful of other victories on the Indy car circuit. A McLaren chassis also won the 1972 Indianapolis 500 when Mark Donohue scored victory for Team Penske.

Team Website mclaren.com/
First Start
May 28, 2017 (Indianapolis 500)

Road To Verizon IndyCar Series

  • 2016
    • Solid Formula One season, including a stellar fifth place in Monaco.
    • Suffered huge crash in Australia's season opener, forcing him to sit out of Round 2 at Bahrain.
    • Finished tenth in the Formula One drivers' championship with 54 points.
  • 2015
    • Finished 17th in the Formula One drivers' championship.
    • Returned to McLaren coinciding with team's tough first season of revived partnership with Honda.
    • Scored best finish of fifth at Hungary.
  • 2014
    • Finished sixth overall in Formula One drivers' championship.
    • Landed two podium appearances for Ferrari.
  • 2013
    • Finished second overall in drivers' championship to Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel.
    • Scored wins in China and Spain plus seven additional podiums finishes.
  • 2012
    • Wins in Malaysia, Valencia and Germany to take healthy championship lead into the summer break.
    • Finished second overall in Formula One drivers' championship to Sebastian Vettel, pushing title race to final round.
  • 2011
    • Finishes with one win and nine podiums in Formula One season for Ferrari.
    • Misses out on third place overall in drivers' championship by a single point to Red Bull's Mark Webber.
  • 2010
    • Asserts authority over teammate Felipe Massa with debut Ferrari win in Bahrain.
    • Overhauls 47-point deficit to lead standings before final race, where poor pit strategy sees him miss out on title.
    • Scores five season wins.
  • 2009
    • Scores surprising pole position in Hungary, but lost wheel during a pit stop.
    • Signed contract to drive with Ferrari beginning in 2010.
    • Returned to podium in Singapore.
  • 2008
    • Finishes fifth overall in drivers' points and commits to the team for another two years.
    • Returned to Renault for 2008 after deteriorating relationship with Ferrari.
    • Transforms Renault's R28 from a lackluster performer into a race-winning machine, scoring back-to-back victories late in the season, including Formula One's inaugural night race in Singapore.
  • 2007
    • Moved to McLaren
    • Finished third overall in Formula One drivers' championship with four wins, even on points with rookie teammate Lewis Hamilton.
  • 2006
    • Dominates the first half of the season with Renault, taking six wins from nine races.
    • Successfully defends his Formula One drivers' title after strong challenge from Michael Schumacher and Ferrari.
  • 2005
    • Scored seven victories en route to becoming Formula One's youngest ever champion at 24.
    • Performed brilliantly in later races to bring him the crown with two rounds to spare.
  • 2004
    • Finished fourth in the drivers standings for Renault.
    • Scored pole position at Magny-Cours and four podium finishes, including second in France.
  • 2003
    • Joined Formula One with Renault.
    • Became youngest ever pole sitter in Malaysia.
    • Scored pole and victory in Hungary, lapping Michael Schumacher in the process.
    • Finished sixth in the driver standings.
  • 2002
    • Became official test driver for Renault, putting in thousands of development kilometers.
    • Scored one-off test with Jaguar.
  • 2001
    • Debuted in Formula One with Minardi, with a best finish of tenth place in Germany.
  • 2000
    • Moved to Formula 3000 with the Astromega team.
    • Scored victory at the challenging Spa-Francorchamps circuit.
    • Finished fourth in the Formula 3000 championship.
  • 1999
    • Dominated in the Euro-Open Movistar Nissan single-seater series, with nine poles and six wins on his way to championship victory.
  • 1998
    • Finished runner-up in the European karting championship.
  • Early Career
    • Won karting championships in Spain and Italy in 1997.
    • Won karting World Junior Title in Ghent, and the national championship in Sils.
    • Finished third in the karting World Championship held in Braga.
    • Won Spanish Championship with Genikart in 1993.
    • Raced in the 100 cc category in 1992, requiring special dispensation from the Federation since given his age he should have been competing with the juniors.
    • Scored his first karting victory at Pola Liviana in 1988, winning the children’s title with eight race victories during the championship.