With Fernando Alonso releasing his own set of emojis, what better way to use them than a look at the Spaniard’s career.
The Minardi debut
Sadly there’s no beardless Alonso emoji to showcase just how young he was when making his debut. Fernando was the third youngest F1 driver ever on his debut and impressed immediately, out-qualifying his team mate Tarso Marques by a ridiculous 2.6 seconds.
Maiden win with Renault
In just his second full season in Formula 1, Fernando became (at the time) F1’s youngest ever winner after taking victory for Renault at the Hungarian Grand Prix, he even lapped reigning champion Michael Schumacher. Not bad.
The first title
After five consecutive titles for Michael Schumacher, Alonso put an end to the German’s F1 dominance when he won his first title in 2005. He became F1’s youngest ever champion when he secured the World Championship at Interlagos, Brazil.
After a season long battle with Michael Schumacher, Fernando again won the world title in Interlagos. The following year though he would leave Renault to join McLaren.
First year with McLaren
McLaren delivered a race winning car in 2007 but while paired with surprisingly successful rookie Lewis Hamilton, Alonso did not take the Brit’s success well. He was a major player in the McLaren spy scandal which would see McLaren disqualified from the constructors’ title. Alonso left after his first year and returned straight back to Renault.
Fernando again found himself at the heart of controversy as part of the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix scandal dubbed Crashgate. A year after the race it was revealed that Alonso’s team mate Nelson Piquet Jr had deliberately crashed to cause a safety car, allowing Fernando to take an unexpected victory. He still claims though he knew nothing about it.
Abu Dhabi 2010
At the 2010 season finale in Abu Dhabi Alonso was in prime position to win his third title and a first with Ferrari, however an early safety car turned the race on its head and Sebastian Vettel took a comfortable victory. Fernando spent much of the race stuck behind Vitaly Petrov and while it was crucial to pass the Russian to win the world title, he just couldn’t get passed.
2012 was arguably Alonso’s most impressive year in Formula 1, managing to get a notoriously terrible Ferrari to within just four points of winning a title. In an incredible season finale that saw the championship change between Vettel and Alonso numerous times, it was Vettel who went on to take his third title and denying Alonso his.
McLaren returned to Honda power in 2015 and with Alonso and Jenson Button as drivers it was expected to be a dream team. Instead, the Honda power unit wasn’t up to scratch (to put it mildly) and Alonso spent the year scoring more grid penalties than he did points.
The king of memes
One highlight in McLaren’s woeful 2015 season however was nothing to do with racing but instead another mechanical failure. After breaking down at Interlagos, Alonso found a deckchair, launching #PlacesAlonsoWouldRatherBe and one of the best F1 memes ever!
After a pre-season crash in Barcelona and then a spectacular accident at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, Alonso was forced to miss the next round in Bahrain being replaced by Stoffel Vandoorne.
Still a great
If McLaren don’t get their act together, it’s more than likely Alonso will retire with just two titles to his name but despite this, Alonso is deservedly considered by most to be the best driver in F1 today and one of the best of all time.