Fernando Alonso. What’s there to say about the guy that’s not already been said.
He’s a two-time Formula 1 champion, an endurance racing champion, and now he is trying his hand at the grueling Dakar rally.
Partaking in the 2020 edition of the last mentioned as team member of the South African team, Toyota Gazoo Racing, Alonso went about Stage 10 in search of a solid result. Things didn’t go according to plan for the Spaniard, as he soon found himself and navigator, Marc Coma, rolling down the side of a sand dune.
The Toyota Hilux Alonso drove landed on all four wheels after rolling twice. Spectators quickly ran to the duo’s aid, but after a few seconds they were back on their way, continuing the stage.
While both Alonso and Coma were unhurt, the same could not be said of their V8 bakkie. A broken windscreen and damaged suspension made sure they ended the tenth stage more than an hour behind the winner.
So, given Alonso’s crazy ability to continue driving following the double roll, how many other motorsport crashes did he survive? Here are two more F1 incidents he walked away from.
Australia - 2016
During the opening round of the 2016 F1 season, and driving for McLaren-Honda, Alonso found himself behind the Haas of Esteban Gutiérrez. Charging towards the Haas driver and readying for an overtake, Alonso suddenly rammed into the rear of his rival's car.
The crash sent him flying into the barricade at over 300km/h. The impact was so intense, it left Alonso’s McLaren in a crumbled state. And Alonso?
Well, he emerged from the wreckage seemingly unscathed. In a post-race interview, a smiling Alonso told the cameras that his mom was watching, so he got out of the car quickly because he didn’t want her to stress.
Belgium - 2012
In his third year racing for Ferrari (Alonso drove for the team between 2010 – 2014), Alonso lined up for the Belgium Grand Prix, staged at the world-famous Spa Francorchamps racetrack. As soon as the lights went out, Alonso was ready to make the best of his swift getaway. Unfortunately for him, Romain Grosjean (Lotus-Renault) had other plans.
Grosjean, starting a few positions behind Alonso, tried his best to pass Lewis Hamilton (McLaren-Mercedes), but the two touched wheels and, as they say, the rest is history.
Grosjean’s actions sent Hamilton careening off the track, and him ricocheting into Kamui Kobayashi, and then over the top of Alonso's car.
The collision was so violent that Grosjean was handed a one-race ban.