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Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso, b. July 29, 1981 in Oviedo, Spain, is a very promising up-and-coming Formula One driver.

A long time veteran of karting, he was a World Junior Karting champion in 1996, and made the jump to open-wheel cars in 1999, racing the Spanish Nissan Open series. Still only 18 years old, he was series champion that year and immediately earned a ticket to Formula 3000 in 2000. A win at Spa-Francorchamps[?] highlighted a very solid 4th place finish in the drivers' championship and left for Formula 1 after his only season at F3000.

Alonso was the third-youngest driver in F1 history to start a race when he made his debut with Minardi in 2001. While the car was not highly competitive, Alonso did an impressive job with the car he had, providing some great qualifying efforts for a team that's known for being a perennial backmacker.

This earned him a spot with the newly christened Renault team in 2002 as a test driver with Renault promoting him to be a regular driver in 2003. With a much better car than he had in his first F1 stint, Alonso has been terrific through 7 races with the team, earning a pole position in Malaysia, the youngest driver to ever do so, and often competiting for a podium spot. His success has spawned "Alonsomania" in Spain, as he has become the first regularly competitive Spaniard in F1 history. Fittingly, he had his career best 2nd place finish at the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona.

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