Skip to content

It’s been 10 years since Alonso’s first win, at Hungary in 2003

Jul 22, 2013, 4:00 PM EDT

The question when Fernando Alonso moved to Renault in 2003 was not if he’d get his first Grand Prix victory, but when. This year marks 10 years since that question was answered, at the 2003 Hungarian Grand Prix.

From pole, Alonso leapt away from slow-starting second and third-placed Ralf Schumacher and Mark Webber (amazing how some things never change, Webber with a poor start).

Alonso lapped both his teammate Jarno Trulli and, at that time, the five-time overall and three-time defending World Champion Michael Schumacher. Only the top six cars finished on the lead lap as Alonso scored his first career victory to become F1’s youngest ever winner, aged 22.

The podium of Alonso, Kimi Raikkonen and Juan Pablo Montoya was heralded as a “changing of the guard” in F1 and it appeared for the balance of 2003 that either Raikkonen or Montoya would be able to beat Schumacher to the championship. Alas, the Ferrari driver held on.

But much has changed. Alonso, who turns 32 on July 29, has 32 career victories and that places him in fourth place all-time. Still, that mark is just two wins ahead of Sebastian Vettel, who eclipsed Alonso’s youngest to win record with his own win in the 2008 Italian Grand Prix at 21.

Renault, which Alonso drove for then, is now Lotus, Raikkonen’s home at least for the rest of 2013. Of course it was Alonso who replaced Raikkonen at Ferrari, and has struggled to dial in the car’s performance to match Vettel and Red Bull – a driver and team that in 2003, didn’t even exist!

Vettel was just 16 at the time and Red Bull was Jaguar, with a one Mark Webber in his first year at that team. And it’s Vettel who has as many World Championships – three – as does that 2003 Hungarian GP podium (Alonso two and Raikkonen one).

The other bit of stat nerddom to come out of that race was Zsolt Baumgartner making his debut for Jordan, the first and thus far only Hungarian driver in F1 history. He did so at his home Grand Prix but retired with an engine failure halfway through the race.

Latest Posts
  1. Mistakes from Hulkenberg result in Q1 elimination

    Aug 23, 2014, 11:30 AM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Belgium - Qualifying Getty Images

    P18 on the grid goes down as the Hulk’s second-worst qualifying result in F1.

  2. Vettel: Third the best Red Bull could achieve today

    Aug 23, 2014, 11:00 AM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Belgium - Qualifying Getty Images

    Defending world champion qualifies a distant third behind the two Mercedes cars on Saturday at Spa.

  3. Brake problem hinders Hamilton in Q3, but he is pleased with P2

    Aug 23, 2014, 10:30 AM EDT

    Belgium F1 GP Auto Racing AP

    2008 world champion secures his first top five qualifying result since the Canadian Grand Prix back in June.

  4. Rosberg delighted with “awesome” pole position at Spa

    Aug 23, 2014, 10:00 AM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Belgium - Qualifying Getty Images

    Mercedes locks out the front row of the grid for the first time since the Canadian Grand Prix back in June, with Rosberg claiming pole at one of the sport’s most famous circuits.

  5. Hamilton: Beating Rosberg when he’s at his best “more painful”

    Aug 23, 2014, 9:30 AM EDT

    Belgium F1 GP Auto Racing AP

    Lewis wants to beat Rosberg when the German is at the peak of his powers, as the two drivers fight for this year’s F1 world title.

  6. Rosberg tames wet conditions to claim Belgian GP pole

    Aug 23, 2014, 9:05 AM EDT

    Belgium F1 GP Auto Racing AP

    German driver takes pole at a damp Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on Saturday afternoon.

  7. Alonso accepts Ice Bucket Challenge, nominates Montezemolo and Briatore (VIDEO)

    Aug 23, 2014, 8:30 AM EDT

    Monaco F1 GP Auto Racing AP

    The Ferrari driver took the plunge after being nominated by Felipe Massa and soccer player Juan Manuel Mata.

  8. WATCH LIVE: Belgian GP qualifying – can anyone stop Mercedes?

    Aug 23, 2014, 7:45 AM EDT

    Nico Rosberg AP

    You can watch qualifying from Spa-Francorchamps live on CNBC and Live Extra from 8am ET.

  9. Red Bull GRC: Daytona race and course preview (VIDEO)

    Aug 23, 2014, 7:30 AM EDT

    Coke Zero 400 - Practice Getty Images

    The Daytona round of the Red Bull Global Rallycross is a key one and kicks off the second half of the 2014 season. Here’s more from Kristen Kenney heading into the weekend.

  10. Alonso backs Sainz to reach F1 despite Toro Rosso snub

    Aug 23, 2014, 7:15 AM EDT

    F1 Young Driver Tests - Silverstone: Day Three Getty Images

    Sainz was expected to get the Toro Rosso drive, but was rejected in favor of 16-year-old Max Verstappen.

  11. Newey: Belgium about damage limitation for Red Bull

    Aug 23, 2014, 6:30 AM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Hungary - Qualifying Getty Images

    Red Bull’s chief technical officer isn’t getting his hopes up for this weekend’s race at Spa.

  12. Bottas breaks Mercedes’ stranglehold at Spa by topping FP3

    Aug 23, 2014, 6:03 AM EDT

    Valtteri Bottas AP

    Williams finishes practice for the Belgian GP with a flourish.

  13. WATCH LIVE: FP3 for the Belgian Grand Prix

    Aug 23, 2014, 4:45 AM EDT

    Fernando Alonso AP

    One final chance for the drivers and teams to get to grips with Spa ahead of qualifying later today.

  14. MRTI: Title battles to reach crescendo after intriguing Friday at Sonoma

    Aug 23, 2014, 1:09 AM EDT

    Photo: Pro Mazda AP

    Dramatic day for Pro Mazda, USF2000 Friday in Sonoma.

  15. Ryan Blaney passes Kyle Busch on final restart, hangs on to win Nationwide race at Bristol

    Aug 22, 2014, 11:35 PM EDT

    (Photo: Patrick Smith/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Ryan Blaney passed Kyle Busch with six laps left in Friday night’s Food City 300 Nationwide Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway, and then held on the rest of the way to earn his second career NNS victory.

  16. Delay’s over, engines fired for Nationwide Series at Bristol (UPDATED)

    Aug 22, 2014, 8:30 PM EDT

    bristol rain Getty Images

    Update (8:30 p.m. ET): The engines have been fired and tonight’s Food City 300 is ready to roll.

  17. Kevin Harvick edges Jeff Gordon for Bristol Sprint Cup pole

    Aug 22, 2014, 6:54 PM EDT

    harvick bristol 2 2014 Getty Images

    Jeff Gordon looked like he had the pole for Saturday’s Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway. But Kevin Harvick had other ideas.

  18. Will A.J. Allmendinger seek payback for Brad Daugherty’s practical joke?

    Aug 22, 2014, 6:34 PM EDT

    dinger daugherty watkins glen 2014 Getty Images

    At 7-feet tall, ESPN NASCAR analyst, team co-owner and former NBA star Brad Daugherty is a formidable presence. He’s also known to play a practical joke every now and then.

  19. NASCAR: Bristol spring weekend shifting to April

    Aug 22, 2014, 5:39 PM EDT

    Food City 500 Getty Images

    Unpredictable weather conditions have impacted the Food City 500 in its March spot, which the event has had since the 2005 season.

Video from NASCAR America

Why Bristol is such a unique track
Top 10 NASCAR Driver Searches
  1. J. Gordon (1591)
  2. K. Harvick (1288)
  3. I. Vences (1264)
  4. B. McReynolds (1101)
  5. K. Kahne (1039)