F1 Gold | Remembering when Alonso broke down emotionally after winning the 2012 European GP

Fernando Alonso celebrates on the podium after winning the European Grand Prix at the Valencia Street Circuit on June 24, 2012.  Image: Mark Thompson/Getty Images
Fernando Alonso celebrates on the podium after winning the European Grand Prix at the Valencia Street Circuit on June 24, 2012. Image: Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Fernando Alonso and Ferrari never really lived up to the expectations of winning a Formula 1 world championship.

It’s a shame really, because both entities are amazingly strong racers and relentless competitors. Between 2010 and 2014, Alonso did his best to win the title, while Ferrari returned the favour by bringing a competitive car to each race. At least, they tried to.

Could've, would've, should've

There were a few races where both parties - Alonso and Ferrari - were brilliant and their competitiveness hinted at what could, should, and would have been. Like the 2012 European Grand Prix in Valencia, Spain.

Alonso started the race in eleventh place and had all his work cut out to make an impact on the front runners. He did all he could and his efforts paid off as he passed rival after rival.

The Valencia street circuit, not a part of the F1 calendar anymore, was notorious for not being overtake-friendly, but in 2012 Alonso proved the opposite as he cut through the field with (what looked like) relative ease.

Winning such a dramatic race in front of his home crowd took everything Alonso had, which justified the tears and emotions after the race. Though Alonso and Ferrari never won a championship together, the 2012 European GP is a glimpse of the promise that never came to fruition.

A rued career

Alonso, widely regarded as perhaps the greatest F1 driver of our generation, was not an easy character to work with. Starting his F1 career in the early 2000s, Alonso quickly made the move up the ranks and into the seat of a Renault F1 car. In 2005 and 2006, he won his only championships.

In 2007, he moved to McLaren-Mercedes to partner then-newby, Lewis Hamilton, but after a tumultuous season he moved back to Renault for 2008 and 2009. In 2010 he joined Ferrari, but after five fruitless years he rejoined McLaren in 2015, who signed a new engine deal with Honda.

READ: Formula 1 return is 'getting harder' - Fernando Alonso

Alonso was even worse off than at Ferrari, and he failed to finish almost as many races than he had won in his F1 career 31 DNFs vs. 32 victories).

The Spaniard is looking to return to the sport in 2021, but he has burnt so many bridges that it’s unlikely that any team will want him. Including Ferrari and McLaren.

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