The Little One With Big Dreams: The Rise Of Fernando Alonso’s Go-Karting Career

Fernando Alonso go kart racing

Fernando Alonso is one of the greatest racing drivers of all time, having won two Formula One World Championships and multiple other prestigious titles.

But like many great drivers, Alonso’s path to motorsport success began with go-karting. Starting at a young age, Alonso quickly displayed his talent and passion for the sport, and his success in go-karts paved the way for his career in Formula One and beyond.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at Fernando Alonso’s go-karting career, from his early beginnings to his breakthrough performances and the tracks where he honed his skills.

Join us as we explore the fascinating story of one of racing’s biggest names and his journey to the top of the sport.

When Did Fernando Alonso Start Racing Go-Karts?

Fernando Alonso began racing go-karts at the age of three in his hometown of Oviedo, Spain. His father, José Luis Alonso, had been a kart racer himself and introduced his son to the sport. Initially, Alonso would drive around in a small kart that his father had built for him, but he quickly showed a natural talent for racing.

By the time he was eight years old, Alonso was already winning races at the local level. He began competing in regional championships and made a name for himself as one of the top up-and-coming drivers in Spain.

At the age of ten, he won the Asturias Karting Championship, and a year later he was crowned the Spanish Cadet Karting Champion.

Alonso’s success in go-karting caught the attention of some of the top teams in the sport, and he was soon offered a place on the Parolin team, one of the most prestigious karting teams in the world.

With Parolin, Alonso continued to dominate on the international stage, winning the European and World Karting Championships in 1996 and 1997.

Despite his early success, Alonso remained humble and focused on improving his skills.

He continued to compete in go-karting until he was 18 years old, honing his racing instincts and developing the technical knowledge that would serve him well as he moved up to higher levels of motorsport.

How Good Was Fernando Alonso At Karting?

Fernando Alonso’s early karting career was marked by his natural talent and exceptional skills on the track.

At the age of just three, Alonso started karting, and it quickly became clear that he had a special gift for the sport.

Throughout his youth, Alonso competed in numerous regional and national championships, consistently showcasing his talent and earning impressive results.

He won his first Spanish karting championship at the age of 12, and just two years later, he secured his first international victory at the Winter Cup in Italy.

By the time he was 16, Alonso was already a rising star in the karting world. He won the Spanish Karting Championship for the second time in 1997, and the following year, he took home the title in the Italian Karting Championship.

In 1999, Alonso dominated the world of karting, winning both the European and World Karting Championships in the same year, a feat that had never been accomplished before.

Alonso’s exceptional skills on the track earned him the nickname “El Nano,” or “The Little One,” and it was clear that he was destined for great things in the world of motorsports.


Fernando Alonso’s breakthrough moment in go-karting came in 1996 when he won the Spanish Cadet Kart Championship at the age of 14.

This victory was a turning point in his career and put him on the radar of many motorsport enthusiasts and professionals.

Following his victory in the Spanish Cadet Kart Championship, Alonso went on to compete in the Junior classes and quickly established himself as a formidable competitor.

In 1997, he won both the Spanish and the Asturian Junior Karting Championships, and in 1998 he won the European Junior Karting Championship.

Alonso’s success in junior karting caught the attention of several motorsport teams, and he was offered several contracts to compete in various single-seater categories.

He ultimately decided to move into car racing and signed with the Astromega team to compete in the 1999 Euro Open Movistar by Nissan series.

Alonso’s success in go-karting laid the foundation for his future success in car racing, and he has credited the sport with helping him develop the skills and mindset needed to succeed in the highly competitive world of motorsport.

1988Cadet KartAsturias Champion
1989Cadet KartAsturias Champion
1990Cadet KartAsturias Champion
1991Junior KartSpanish Champion
1992Junior KartEuropean Champion
1993Junior KartWorld Champion
1994Intercontinental ASpanish Champion
1995Intercontinental ASpanish Champion
1996Intercontinental AWorld Champion
Note: This table includes only the most significant championships and series in which Fernando Alonso competed. There may have been other smaller-scale races and events that are not listed here.

Where Did Fernando Alonso Go Karting?

Throughout his go-karting career, Alonso competed in races all over the world. He raced in his home country of Spain, as well as other countries in Europe, and even as far away as Japan.

Final Thoughts

Fernando Alonso’s go-karting career was an important stepping stone on his journey to becoming one of the greatest drivers in the world.

It was during his time racing go-karts that Alonso developed the skills and instincts that would serve him well throughout his career. Though he has moved on to other forms of racing, Alonso has never forgotten his roots in go-karting.

His success in this sport helped him become the driver he is today, and he remains an inspiration to aspiring racers all over the world.



Meet Charles, a passionate writer and avid go-kart enthusiast. With a background in motorsports, Charles brings a unique perspective to the world of go-karting and motorsports. When Charles is not behind the wheel, you can find him crafting compelling stories and informative articles on the latest trends and technology on the PK's Go-Karts blog here.