Today's Birthday, July 29: Spanish racing driver Fernando Alonso (1981 - ).
After a two-year absence, Fernando Alonso is returning to the Formula One circuit, hoping to become only the second driver in the last 50 years to win a Grand Prix in their 40s.
The two-time world champion walked away from the sport after 18 seasons and countless wins at the end of 2018.
He had not challenged for the championship since his final two seasons with Ferrari - second in 2013 and sixth in 2014.
Despite an average performance after crossing to McLaren in 2015, he was still considered one of the best drivers on tour when he left.
Born in Oviedo in northern Spain, Fernando Alonso Diaz was only three when he jumped behind the wheel of a go-kart.
His father, a mechanic and amateur kart racer, backed his boy to join karting competitions across Spain.
Alonso attracted generous sponsorships to help fund his promising motorsport career and claimed four successive junior Spanish titles between 1993 and 1996.
He switched to racing cars at 17 and was given a Formula One start two years later by Minardi, which led to a test drive with Renault.
In his second start for Renault, he became the youngest driver to qualify on pole position at the 2003 Malaysian Grand Prix, pre-empting his first win and four podium finishes that season.
After finishing fourth in the 2004 championship, the Spaniard won back-to-back titles in 2005 and 2006 - becoming the youngest dual F1 champion in history until German Sebastian Vettel burst onto the scene.
Alonso finished third overall after a risky but lucrative switch to McLaren in 2007 before returning to Renault for a less fruitful two seasons.
Ferrari was his next stop in 2010, but Vettel's emergence shunted him to the team's No.2 driver and he left four seasons later.
The Spaniard walked away from a horrifying crash at the 2016 Australian Grand Prix, later posting on Instagram: "I am aware that today I spent some of the luck remaining in life."
He made his IndyCar debut at the 2017 Indianapolis 500 and won his first race in five years at a Belgium endurance race in May 2018.
Alonso returns to F1 with Renault in 2021, aiming to emulate Nigel Mansell, who claimed his final win at the 1994 Australian GP aged 41.