“I’m definitely a racer, I’ve always been a very competitive guy. Whatever I do, I do it to win. It’s number one or nothing for me.” It’s less than forty-eight hours before the Monaco Grand Prix, and Fernando Alonso is relaxed and smiling. The Monaco circuit has been a happy place for the legendary Spanish racing driver over the years, the scene of back-to-back victories in 2006 and 2007. In the first of those seasons, he went on to win the Formula One World Championship. Now, he has an even greater achievement in his sights: the ‘triple crown of motorsport.’ “To complete the triple crown, you’ve got to win the Monaco Grand Prix in Formula One, the Indy 500 in Indy Car Racing, and the 24 Hours of Le Mans,” says Fernando. “They’re the three best races of all. But they’re each so different and require such different driving styles. Most drivers can’t even attempt all three. But I really think I can do it. Completing the triple crown by winning the Indy 500 and Le Mans is probably the biggest goal for me right now.” The three races could not indeed be any more different. The Monaco circuit is tight and twisting, with constant shifts in elevation. Overtaking is all but impossible. The Indy 500 at Indianapolis, by contrast, is fast and furious, demanding precision driving at terrifying speeds. Le Mans, meanwhile, is a feat of endurance for every team and car, with the race continuing non-stop over a 24-hour period. Drivers must strike a fine balance between speed and preserving their engines, fuel, and tires.
In pursuit of motorsport’s triple crown
The Spanish motorsport legend speaks exclusively about his life, giving back to the sport, his quest for his greatest racing prize yet.
“My first ever drive was when I was only three years old. I don’t really remember very much about it but my parents still have the pictures. My father had built a go-kart for my older sister. She was eight but she didn’t enjoy it much. So my father thought ‘let’s try with Fernando.’ Apparently, I really enjoyed it. And that’s how it all began. My first proper memories of racing are when I was about eight. It was in a go-kart in the street circuit in my home city of Oviedo. By the time I was thirteen, I was racing for a go-kart manufacturer, who encouraged me to go to Italy, where the racing action was best at that time.