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Formula One legend Fernando Alonso (full name Fernando Alonso Diaz) is widely considered to be one of the greatest drivers in the history of the sport.
His passion for racing began aged just three years old, as he took up the wheel of a go-kart in his native town of Oviedo, Spain. It became more than just a hobby for the young Alonso, who went on to become World Karting Champion in 1996 aged 15.
Five years later he made his Formula One debut in 2001 with Minardi, progressing to Renault the following year. During his time with Renault he was crowned Formula One Drivers’ Champion twice. As Alonso was aged just 24 at the time he became the youngest to receive the accolade – and the youngest double champion. Over the years he has joined various F1 teams including Mclaren, Renault and Scuderia Ferrari.
Fernando Alonso is well-known as a talented and celebrated racing driver – and holds various record titles in the sport. Aside from his success as the youngest world champion and youngest double world champion successively, he also held the record for most career championship points between 2013 and 2015. He is also one of just thirteen drivers to have won two of the three races that collectively form the Triple Crown of Motorsport – Le Mans and Monaco Grand Prix.
Alonso attributes much of his phenomenal success to the skills and stamina he acquired when starting out so young. His ability to adapt his driving style is down to coping with challenges thrown up in his early career in go-karting. Often he was ‘four or five years younger’ than his competitors. ‘You can’t reach the pedals, you can’t reach the steering wheel, you don’t have enough strength to turn the steering wheel.’ As a result, he continued to grow stronger and adapt. In addition ,his parents weren’t able to support his career financially – and although early wins secured sponsorship funding they were unable to afford wet weather tyres. The many rainy days he faced battling to control his kart on slicks turned out to be a blessing – shaping his talent for an illustrious future career.
Alonso has a rich and diverse variety of interests and hobbies outside of Formula One. He is a brand ambassador for fashion label Kimoa and heads up various projects emerging under this umbrella. He also speaks four languages and is a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF.
Claim a slice of this fast-paced sport for yourself with our fantastic selection of signed F1 memorabilia. Here you’ll find signed Fernando Alonso photos, shirts, gloves, visors and mounted displays commemorating Alonso’s incredible achievements and long career in Formula 1.