Fernando Alonso is a born leader, with extraordinary drive and determination. Insisting on his right to make up his own mind, he demands freedom of thought and action, and does not let anything or anyone stand in his way once he is committed to his goal, much like the Richard Mille brand.
Fernando Alonso was barely 20 years old when he made his Formula 1 debut in 2001 at Minardi. His F3000 performances had been spotted by Flavio Briatore and the newly appointed manager and team principal of Benetton-Renault secured the Spaniard a spot on the small Italian team. In his early career, Alonso broke records for precocity. In Hungary on 24 August 2003, he became the youngest driver to win a Grand Prix at the age of 22 years and 28 days. Two years later, with Renault, he took the title of the youngest world champion, at 24 years and 57 days. The following year, he became the youngest two-time world champion to date. Even though these records have since been beaten, they remain symbolic of the Spanish driver’s meteoric rise.
“I had seen Richard at the tracks before I met him. Then later, when we had the opportunity to get to know each other, we discovered that we had quite a lot in common and several mutual friends, including Rafael Nadal. Richard even speaks some Spanish! He is a passionate, enthusiastic and dynamic man. We don’t just talk about competitions and Formula 1, our main topic of conversation is actually sports cars.”
While Richard Mille is an avid motorsports fan, Alonso has a weakness for high-calibre watch movements. A passion he has inherited from his family: “When I was five or six years old, my grandfather gave me one of his watches for my birthday. I still have it. It was the first piece in my collection. I love wearing a watch. Richard surprised me one day by having me try out a watch prototype in the colours of my helmet. I was so proud of it.”
After his first F1 hiatus, Alonso set himself the goal of completing the “Triple Crown of Motorsport” by winning the Monaco Grand Prix, the Indianapolis 500, and the 24 Hours of Le Mans – a feat that only Graham Hill has achieved in the entire history of motor racing. Despite being well placed to win, he had to abandon the race a few laps before the finish. In the process, he earned himself “best rookie of the race”. On 17 June 2018, he won in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in a Toyota TS050 Hybrid with Kazuki Nakajima and Sébastien Buemi. It was his first time taking part in the race and his win brought him slightly closer to his ambition of completing the Triple Crown. After winning the 24 Hours of Daytona in 2019, he came out on top at the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the second year running and at the same time made first place in the World Endurance Championship. In August 2022, he announced he would be resuming his Formula 1 career with Aston Martin F1 Team from 2023, replacing Sebastian Vettel who is retiring from the sport.