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24 August 2003: Fernando Alonso becomes the youngest ever driver to win a Grand Prix

Alonso with former Renault manager, Flavio Briatore, in 2003.
Alonso with former Renault manager, Flavio Briatore, in 2003. / SUR
  • Earlier that year Alonso had already become the youngest driver to start in pole position, when he was still only 21

Today, 24 August, is the fifteenth anniversary of the extraordinary victory of Spanish racing driver Fernando Alonso at the Hungary Grand Prix, becoming the youngest person in the history of the sport to win a race in the Formula One World Championship.

Formula One fans will remember that 24 August 2003, when the 22-year-old Alonso completed the 70-lap race, starting from pole position, comfortably ahead of the rest, marking a milestone in the history of this sport.

Earlier that year Alonso had already become the youngest driver to start in pole position, when he was still only 21. Now he had beaten the Grand Prix winner youth record, previously set by Bruce McLaren. For several years, he held on to the record, until it was taken by German driver, Sebastian Vettel, in 2008.

Alonso was born in 1981 in Oviedo, Asturias. His first experience with a racing car came when he was only three and his father José Luis Alonso, who was a mechanic and a go-kart enthusiast, gave him the kart that he had originally built for his older sister, Lorena.

Fernando's father commented that at first, seeing his five-year -old son racing with his go-kart was just like watching any boy playing games and that only later he realised that the child had something that the other kids his age didn't have - a natural talent for the sport.

When he was a teenager, Alonso completed five Spanish karting championships in first place, proving he had bright future ahead. He went on to work with Formula Nissan and then Formula 1.

However, the real turn in his career came in 2002 when he was hired as a test driver for Renault. Alonso showed his skill and impressed the firm which decided to let him race the following year.

Fernando's hard work and dedication to his passion paid off. In 2005, he won his first Formula One Driver's Championship title and was the recipient of the Prince of Asturias Award for Sports. He won the title again in 2006, making him the youngest Formula 1 double champion.

Alonso moved to McLaren in 2007 and than back to Renault in 2008. In 2010 he moved to Ferrari where he stayed until 2016, when he decided to go back to McLaren.

However, just last week in a heart-warming letter, the driver confirmed his departure from Formula One to face, as he wrote "bigger challenges than the one you [Formula 1] can offer me".

It is expected that the man who made motor racing history 15 years ago will soon reveal what his new challenges are.