Spain's Fernando Alonso won his second straight Formula One World Championship in 2006 to confirm his status as the new star of motor racing. Alonso won seven Grand Prix during the season - Bahrain, Australian, Spanish, Monaco, British, Canadian and Japanese - the same as his great rival Michael Schumacher, but he had seven podium finishes against Schumacher's five which proved decisive.
It was one of the most exciting seasons for years, split almost exactly into a Renault half and a Ferrari half and the end result was a championship of compelling fascination. In his final season, Schumacher, the most successful driver in the history of the sport, once again showed all the qualities that made him the outstanding talent of his generation, but Alonso revealed exactly why he will take over Schumacher's position as Formula One's pre-eminent driver by displaying immense determination to hang on to win the title. Alonso eventually clinched the championship with 134 points to Schumacher's 119, with Renault winning the World Constructors' Championship by 206 points to Ferrari's 201.
In many ways Alonso is reminiscent of a young Schumacher, both are blindingly fast, brave and committed. What marks them out as special is their ability to drive right on the limit on every lap of every race.
In September 2005, Fernando Alonso won his first Formula One World Championship at the age of 24 years and 58 days, breaking Laureus World Sports Academy member Emerson Fittipaldi's record as the youngest ever champion. His triumph ended Schumacher's run of five consecutive championships and made him Spain's first ever Formula One World Champion. He received personal congratulations from King Juan Carlos of Spain and was awarded the nation's prestigious Asturias Prize for Sport.