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Ask the Expert - Renault's Fernando Alonso 09 Oct 2009

Fernando Alonso (ESP) Renault.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 1, Australian Grand Prix, Preparations, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, 26 March 2009 Fernando Alonso (ESP) Renault R29.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 15, Japanese Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Suzuka, Japan, Saturday, 3 October 2009 Fernando Alonso (ESP) Renault R29.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 15, Japanese Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Suzuka, Japan, Saturday, 3 October 2009 Fernando Alonso (ESP) Renault.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Singapore Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Saturday, 26 September 2009 Fernando Alonso (ESP) Renault R29.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 15, Japanese Grand Prix, Practice Day, Suzuka, Japan, Friday, 2 October 2009

Who was described as the ‘anti-Alonso’ back in 2007? Who was the American co-star of Spanish actors Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem in the film Vicky Cristina Barcelona? In which movie did Tom Cruise sport Ray Ban’s famous Aviators? And in what year was UNICEF founded?

These are just some of the questions we thought Renault’s Fernando Alonso would take in his stride after he agreed to be the latest participant in our personal trivia test, ‘Ask the Expert’...

Q: Your team mate Romain Grosjean races under a French licence. But in which country and which city was he born?
Fernando Alonso:
Switzerland, the city is Geneva.
Correct

Q: In 2006 you won the Prince of Asturias Award for Sports. Which other Formula One driver has received this prestigious prize?
FA:
Michael Schumacher.
Correct

Q: You won your two titles in consecutive years. Five other drivers also claimed two titles, but of those five only two managed it in successive seasons - can you name them?
FA:
It must be Mika Hakkinen and I guess Emerson Fittipaldi.
One out of two ain’t bad - it was indeed Hakkinen, but the other driver was Alberto Ascari.

Q: Back in 2007, then Renault team boss Flavio Briatore described someone as the ‘anti-Alonso’. Which driver was he referring to?
FA:
Heikki.
Correct - it was indeed Kovalainen.

Q: Renault’s Formula One factory is based near the village of Enstone. What was the site originally?
FA:
A quarry.
Correct

Q: Your hometown of Oviedo featured a great deal in Woody Allen’s latest film Vicky Cristina Barcelona. Can you name the American co-star of Spanish actors Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem in the film?
FA:
Scarlett Johansson.
Correct

Q: Your former team mate Nelson Piquet is a leading light on the social networking site Twitter. Can you guess (to the nearest thousand) how many followers he currently has?
FA:
No idea.
Incorrect - it’s a mind-boggling 93,772 (though it may well be more by the time you read this!).

Q: It seems your current sunglasses of choice are your Ray Bans. In which film did Tom Cruise sport the firm’s famous Aviators?
FA:
Top Gun.
Correct

Q: You are a fan and friend of Spanish cyclist Carlos Sastre. He won the Tour de France last year and finished third in which Spanish competition?
FA:
The Vuelta.
Correct - it was indeed the Vuelta a Espana.

Q: You share your surname with a famous Spanish footballer, Xabi. He moved to Real Madrid for the 2009 season, but which English club had he played for over the previous five seasons?
FA:
Liverpool FC.
Correct

Q: You scored your first single-seater victory driving in the Euro Open by Nissan series for Adrian Campos. Campos himself competed in Formula One over two seasons in 1987 and 1988. What was his best F1 result?
FA:
I think he finished 14th at the 1987 Spanish Grand Prix for Minardi.
Correct

Q: You are a UNICEF ambassador. In what year was the organisation founded?
FA:
Right after the end of the Second World War
Near enough - it was set up in 1946.

Q: In your first F1 season, you raced for Minardi. At what event did you clinch your best result of the year and what was your placing?
FA:
Must have been 10th at the German Grand Prix.
Correct

Q: One of your favourite holiday destinations is the Maldives. But how many (to the nearest ten) islands make up the island country?
FA:
I have no idea. Many!
Incorrect - it’s 1,192.

Q: At the 2003 Hungarian you became F1’s youngest race winner, a record since beaten by Sebastian Vettel, but who is the oldest F1 winner in history?
FA:
Must have been long before my time. Don’t know.
Incorrect - Luigi Fagioli, who won the 1951 French Grand Prix aged 53 years, 22 days.

Q: You competed in the 2000 Formula 3000 series. Which current F1 driver beat you to third place in the standings and which former F1 driver won the title?
FA:
That was Mark Webber and Bruno Junqueira.
Correct

Q: You have recorded 13 fastest laps in your Formula One career to date. Which 2009 driver has the nearest total to yours?
FA:
I don’t know, but I should.
Incorrect - it’s Ferrari’s Felipe Massa on 12.

Q: You are one of only three Spaniards to have finished on the podium in Formula One. Can you name the other two?
FA:
Yes, Alfonso de Portago and Pedro de la Rosa.
Correct - De Portago at the 1956 British Grand Prix and De la Rosa at the 2006 Hungarian Grand Prix.

Q: How many Grands Prix have the Renault team won, and what percentage of those were won by you?
FA:
I don’t know how many in total, but I have won 17 races for Renault.
Incorrect - Renault have won 35 Grands Prix, with Alonso’s 17 victories making up 48.5 percent.

Final score: 17 points from a possible 24
Ask the Expert rating: 71%

Current leader board:
1. Heikki Kovalainen - 86%
2. Mark Webber - 84%
3= Lewis Hamilton - 80%
3= Kimi Raikkonen - 80%
5. Felipe Massa - 77%
6= Kazuki Nakajima - 73%
6= Jaime Alguersuari - 73%
8. Sebastien Buemi - 72%
9. Fernando Alonso - 71%
10. Robert Kubica - 70%
11. Jenson Button - 69%
12. Giancarlo Fisichella - 68%
13. Nico Rosberg - 66%
14= Sebastian Vettel - 64%
14= Rubens Barrichello - 64%
16= Jarno Trulli - 58%
16= Timo Glock - 58%
18. Nick Heidfeld - 57%
19. Adrian Sutil - 54%

More drivers coming soon.