Fernando's last one | Pirelli

Fernando's last one



The Barcelona-Catalunya circuit has hosted so many races that, one way or another, it has taken on a special significance in the history of  Formula  1. For one of the drivers on the grid this weekend, the Catalan track is memorable for a particular reason, one which might be considered bitter sweet. We're talking about Fernando Alonso, for whom this is the scene of his last Grand Prix win back in 2013.

There's no doubt that Fernando never suspected that the 12th May that year would be the last time he would stand on the top step of the podium. Driving for Ferrari, his season had got off to a good start, at the wheel of a competitive car with which he had managed to win two of the first five races. In fact, but for some bad luck and reliability problems, he would have been leading the Drivers' championship. And yet, his dream of clinching a third world title and doing it with Ferrari, having come so close in 2010 and 2012, gradually but inexorably faded away in 2013 and after that, the opportunity never presented itself again, at  least so far. And yet, Fernando is still on the grid today, eleven  years on from his 32nd win  and 23 years after his Formula 1 debut and he is still chasing the dream. One thing you can be sure of is that, irrespective of whether he ever becomes world champion again, Fernando will be doing everything in his power to shift the dial off the number 32 when it comes to race wins

There's someone else who has also played his part in the history of this sport who has fond memories of that 12th May and that's Stefano Domenicali. At the time he was the Scuderia Ferrari team principal and he decided to go up on the podium that day, something he didn't do very often, but on this particular Sunday, he would find himself in the company of two other drivers to which he had strong ties, namely Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa, who had finished second and third respectively. Stefano would leave the Maranello team less than a year later and for him too, the Barcelona win would be his last as a team principal and more than that, his final one as a competitor in the sport. Today, he no longer has to steer a team to victory, instead he has to ensure that Formula 1 itself is successful, a task he is tackling with the same enthusiasm he applied during his days with Ferrari.