Fernando Alonso, King of Spain?

Fernando Alonso will race for the 21st time in his career at the Spanish Grand Prix. Between victories and mechanical failures, what assessment can we draw from the 20 races of the Bull of Asturias on its land? 

Published on 19/06/2024 à 16:15

Yannis Duval

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Fernando Alonso, King of Spain?

21st Spanish Grand Prix for Alonso, this weekend (June 21-23). ©DPPI

The dean of the grid is back in his native country! Fernando Alonso will participate this weekend (June 21-23) in its 21st Spanish Grand Prix. Over the years, the Bull of Asturias has experienced almost everything at home, glory, defeat, shame... What are Alonso's most notable moments in Spain?

Positive results…

For his home debut in 2001, the Spanish driver did what he could. At the wheel of the capricious Minardi PS01, the Spanish driver finished 18th in qualifying, far ahead of his teammate, Tarso Marques (last, 1″5 behind Alonso). He finished the race in an honorable 13th place, managing to take advantage of the numerous retirements in front of him.

Everything accelerated when he won, for the first time in his career, the Spanish Grand Prix. In 2005, he could not do better than 2nd place, behind Kimi Räikkönen but this time, in 2006, no one stole his moment.

“Today, I believe I experienced my most beautiful emotions, admits the reigning world champion after the race. A bit like at the Brazilian GP where I mathematically won my world title. Except that I finished there by defending my 3rd place. I didn't like it. Today it's different. I really did the race I wanted to do, attacking until 5 or 6 laps from the end. Crossing the finish line alone in the lead, in front of my audience, my supporters… Yes, a fantastic day, hard to forget! »

Two years later, Fernando Alonso had to retire for the first time in his career at home, due to an engine problem. Heartbreaking? Yes, definitely, but the pilot Renault prefers to put things into perspective and remember the good sides of his weekend. In qualifying, the sensation was created by him as he took the first row with his R28, which had not happened for a year. “Ultimately disappointing but overall promising end of the week, he smiles. We have returned to the forefront and the pleasure of fighting for a satisfactory result. »

In 2013, Fernando won his second victory on the Barcelona circuit at the end of a well-conducted race... when he started 5th place on the grid. Unfortunately, since then, the Asturian has never been on the podium again during his home Grand Prix.

Alonso

Second victory in Spain ©DPPI

…but also more complicated Grands Prix

His adventure at McLaren between 2015 and 2018 was an absolute disaster, from start to finish. Out of these four participations during this period, Alonso only entered the points once (8th place in 2018) and suffered two retirements. His return to McLaren did not go as planned…

© DPPI

His return to Renault/Alpine in 2021 also did not have the desired effect. In the first year under French colors, Fernando Alonso finished 17th while in 2022, he finished 9th, starting from 20th place. “El Plan” did not work…

Finally, more recently, with Aston Martin, the Spaniard finally had the car to fight at the front. This hasn't happened to him since 2013... But this time, he won't do better than 7th place. No mechanical problem, no incident, Alonso simply wasn't there all weekend. He was on a run of six consecutive podiums since the start of the season with the Silverstone team, but this 2023 Spanish Grand Prix is ​​an anomaly in the matrix.

King of Spain or the King's Fool?

Across all of his Spanish Grands Prix, Fernando Alonso has finished in the points 14 times in 21 Grands Prix. There are seven podiums including two victories. The statistical results are obviously very good. However, his career unfortunately has two faces. For a little over 10 years, the Spanish idol has struggled to shine and regain his former grace.

ALSO READ > “You learn a lot in difficult times,” Alonso acknowledges Aston Martin's bad patch

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1 Comment (s)

Yves-Henri RANDIER

19/06/2024 at 05:26 a.m.

Ex-King of Spain, especially since Carlos Sainz Junior became Grand Prix winner. That being said, if Madrid and its urban circuit of m... obtains a "Tilkesque" GP (one more!), Fernand will necessarily have a little to do with it!

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