Fernando Alonso: How does the Spaniard compare to the Formula 1 greats?

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Why is Fernando Alonso retiring from F1?

Two-time Formula 1 world champion Fernando Alonso has said he will not be racing in the sport in 2019.

But how does he compare to other Formula 1 drivers? We have taken a look at some of his statistics and some of his best and worst moments in the sport.

Alonso's place in Formula 1 history

The Spaniard, who is now 37, has had some career. His 32 race victories puts him sixth in the all-time list, behind only Michael Schumacher (91), Lewis Hamilton (67), Alain Prost (51), Sebastian Vettel (51) and Ayrton Senna (41).

His career

Alonso's first race start came back in March 2001 when he came 12th in the Australian Grand Prix in a Minardi. In total, Alonso has started 302 races, with only Rubens Barrichello (322), Michael Schumacher (306) and Jenson Button (306) starting more.

However, with nine races left in the 2018 season he should overtake both Schumacher and Button before the end of the year.

Fernando Alonso

Alonso's Formula 1 career

Minardi (2001)

Fernando Alonso
In 17 races with Minardi, Fernando Alonso never once finished in the points. He only finished eight races, with his best performance being 10th at the German Grand Prix when only the top six earned points

Renault (2003-06)

Fernando Alonso
Alonso's most successful period came during his first spell at Renault, when he became world champion in 2005 and 2006. In 71 races he won 15 times and finished on the podium another 22 times

McLaren (2007)

Fernando Alonso
During one season with McLaren, Alonso won four of 17 races, with eight further podium finishes as he came third in the drivers' championship, level on points with team-mate Lewis Hamilton and one point behind Ferrari's world champion Kimi Raikkonen

Renault (2008-09)

Fernando Alonso
During two seasons back at Renault, Alonso came fifth and ninth in the drivers' championship. He won two of 35 races, with both wins coming in 2008 with one more podium finish that year and one in 2009

Ferrari (2010-2014)

Fernando Alonso
Alonso spent five years at Ferrari, but missed out on a world title, coming second in 2010, 2012 and 2013, fourth in 2011 and sixth in 2014. He raced in 96 races for Ferrari, won 11 of them with a further 33 podium finishes

McLaren (2015-2018)

Fernando Alonso
Alonso has been with McLaren since 2015, but has not gained a podium finish in that time. His best finishes have been the fifth places he gained in Hungary in 2015, Monaco and USA in 2016 and Australia earlier this year

Where did he have the most success?

Fernando Alonso
Fernando Alonso did not win during his season with Minardi in 2001 and has not won in his second spell at McLaren, which began in 2015

Best and worst moments

Alonso became world champion for the first time when at Renault in 2005 and retained his title the following year.

In 2005, he won the title at the Brazilian Grand Prix with two races to spare and eventually finished 21 points in front of McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen.

At the time, Alonso became the youngest man to become a world champion at 24 years, one month and 27 days, although Lewis Hamilton in 2008 and then Sebastian Vettel in 2010 broke this record, with the German being 23 years old when he won his first title with Red Bull.

Alonso won seven races in 2005 and also won seven the season after to gain 13 more points than Ferrari's Michael Schumacher. That was to be his last world title, although he did come second in the championship on three occasions - 2010, 2012 and 2013 - in Ferrari's colours.

His worst moments? So many disappointing moments have come his way since his return to McLaren in 2015 - where he has failed to finish inside the top four at any race and often failed to finish all together.

Fernando Alonso
To the delight of social media, Fernando Alonso took to a deckchair after mechanical problems kept him out of qualifying for the 2015 Brazilian Grand Prix

During qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix in 2015, an engine failure in his McLaren left him unable to set a time in Q1 so he took to the deckchair and enjoyed the sun while the action went on around him. Social media loved it, with the hashtag #PlacesAlonsoWouldRatherBe spawning a host of funny tweets with him superimposed on to various locations around the world.

But for many Formula 1 fans, the image was a sad one of a driver who should have been near the front of the grid, but because of mechanical problems and an uncompetitive car it left him fighting at the back. In his three full seasons in his second spell at McLaren he has come 17th, 10th and 15th and he is ninth after 12 races of the 2018 campaign.

Team radio annoyance

Being a two-time world champion, Alonso's standards are high. He has repeatedly showed his frustrations over team radio when things do not go his way or when his car lets him down.

Click on the below links to hear some of them again...

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