Born in Oviedo, Asturias to a working-class family, he began go-karting at the age of three and achieved success in local, national and world championships. Alonso later progressed to car racing, winning the Euro Open by Nissan in 1999 and was fourth in the International Formula 3000 Championship of 2000. He debuted in Formula One with Minardi in 2001 before joining Renault as a test driver for 2002. Promoted to a race seat in 2003, Alonso won two drivers‘ championships in 2005 and 2006 from Kimi Räikkönen and Michael Schumacher, respectively. After a third-place finish with McLaren in 2007, he returned to Renault from 2008 to 2009 and won two races in the former year to place fifth overall. Alonso then drove for Ferrari from 2010 to 2014. He finished runner-up to Sebastian Vettel three times in tightly-contested title duels in 2010 and 2012 and again in 2013. A second stint with McLaren from 2015 to 2018 did not result in further success due to an uncompetitive car.