Fernando Alonso, the acclaimed Spanish racing sensation, is conspicuously absent from Free Practice 1 of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix this weekend. While fans eagerly await his return to the track, there’s a fascinating reason behind his temporary absence. In this article, we’ll delve into the intricacies of FIA regulations, Fernando Alonso’s remarkable career, and what makes him one of the most revered figures in the world of motorsports.
|Fernando Alonso Díaz
|Date of Birth
|29 July 1981
|Oviedo, Asturias, Spain
|Formula One Debut
|2001, with Minardi
|2 (2005, 2006) with Renault
|Minardi, Renault, McLaren, Ferrari, Alpine, Aston Martin
|Prince of Asturias Award for Sports, Gold Medal of the Royal Order of Sports Merit
Understanding FIA Regulations
To unravel why Fernando Alonso is not behind the wheel this weekend, we must first explore the regulations set forth by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA). According to these rules, every Formula One driver is required to yield their seat in at least one free practice session during the season to a rookie driver who has participated in fewer than two F1 Grand Prix races in their career.
In this instance, the rookie in question is Felipe Drugovich, a skilled Brazilian reserve driver at Aston Martin. Drugovich has previously showcased his capabilities by stepping into the car on several occasions, even participating in the pre-season test in place of another Aston Martin driver, Lance Stroll.
It’s essential to emphasize that Fernando Alonso has dutifully completed all the practice sessions so far this season. Therefore, it is mandatory for him to adhere to the FIA regulations, which is a common practice in Formula 1, typically observed towards the end of the season.
The Phenomenal Journey of Fernando Alonso
Fernando Alonso’s journey in motorsports is nothing short of extraordinary. He kicked off his racing career at the tender age of three with kart racing, showcasing a talent that would soon take the world by storm. At 17, he transitioned to car racing, winning the Euro Open by Nissan title in 1999, a testament to his exceptional skills and determination.
Formula One Beginnings:
In 2001, Alonso’s dream of entering Formula One came true when he joined the Minardi team. Despite driving a non-competitive car, he impressed the racing world and swiftly moved to Renault as a test driver in 2002. The following year, he etched his name in the record books by becoming the youngest driver to secure a pole position and win a race.
Champion with Renault:
Alonso’s career reached its zenith during his stint with Renault, where he clinched back-to-back World Championships in 2005 and 2006. His impeccable skill and unwavering consistency made him a formidable force in the sport.
Stint with McLaren and Return to Renault:
In 2007, Alonso joined McLaren, but his tenure was marred by a tumultuous relationship with the team. He made a triumphant return to Renault in 2008, achieving remarkable wins and podium finishes.
From 2010 to 2014, Alonso donned the iconic red overalls of Ferrari. Although he narrowly missed out on winning a championship, he remained a fierce competitor, consistently challenging for the coveted title.
Return to McLaren:
Alonso’s journey led him back to McLaren in 2015. However, the team faced its own set of challenges, and the car’s performance often fell short of expectations. Alonso’s frustration with the predictability of the sport became evident during this period.
In a dramatic return to Formula One in 2021, Alonso joined Alpine, formerly known as Renault. He quickly proved that he hadn’t lost his edge, securing podium finishes and demonstrating his competitive spirit.
Aston Martin Move:
The year 2023 marked a significant shift in Alonso’s career as he joined Aston Martin. In his very first race with the team, he achieved a podium finish, setting the stage for a promising phase in his illustrious career.
Beyond Formula One:
Fernando Alonso’s talents extend beyond the Formula One circuit. He ventured into endurance racing, winning the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans twice with Toyota. He also explored other racing disciplines, including the IndyCar Series and off-road racing, with notable participation in the Dakar Rally.
In essence, Fernando Alonso has been a shining star in the world of motorsports, amassing an impressive collection of achievements, podiums, and records across various racing domains.
The Wealth of Fernando Alonso
Beyond the racetrack, Fernando Alonso has also made a significant mark in the business and philanthropic worlds. His net worth stands at a staggering $260 million, with an annual income of $40 million derived from earnings and endorsements. His historic wins in 2005 and 2006 as the youngest Formula One World Champion have undoubtedly contributed to his immense wealth.
Alonso’s business ventures include partnerships with renowned brands such as Adidas, Chandon, and Kimoa, a fashion retailer he founded. As a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, he actively engages in campaigns against diseases and cyberbullying, using his influence for social good. In 2023, Alonso’s impressive car collection, featuring rare gems like the Ferrari Enzo, garnered significant attention, further solidifying his multifaceted wealth.
Why is Fernando Alonso Not Racing This Weekend – FAQs
- What teams has Fernando Alonso raced for in Formula One?
Alonso has raced for Minardi, Renault, McLaren, Ferrari, Alpine, and currently competes for Aston Martin.
- How many Formula One World Championships has Fernando Alonso won?
Fernando Alonso has won two Formula One World Championships in 2005 and 2006 with Renault.
- What is Fernando Alonso’s net worth?
Fernando Alonso’s net worth is $260 million, with an annual income of $40 million from earnings and endorsements.
- Why is Fernando Alonso not racing in the Free Practice 1 of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix?
Alonso is not participating in Free Practice 1 due to FIA regulations requiring every driver to give up their seat to a rookie during at least one practice session.
- What other racing disciplines has Fernando Alonso participated in?
Apart from Formula One, Alonso has excelled in endurance racing, winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans twice. He also participated in the IndyCar Series and off-road racing, including the Dakar Rally.
In conclusion, while we eagerly await Fernando Alonso’s return to the track, we can appreciate the intricacies of FIA regulations and the remarkable journey of a racing legend who has left an indelible mark on the world of motorsports.