Spaniards on Wheels: the best race car drivers
Spanish motor racing today is experiencing a so-called gold age. Three of the main motor racing sports have had Spanish world champions. Many other competitors from Spain have also had strong possibilities of becoming champions. The following is a look at racing action in the form of: Formula 1, the equally fast Moto GP, and the demanding World Rally Championships.
F1 – Present, past and future
Spain still has hopes for the Formula 1 driver Fernando Alonso, who won back to back championships in 2005 and 2006 with Renault. Despite his 3 second place finishes during his period with Ferrari, the driver decided to switch to McLaren, with whom he raced without much success in 2007.
Alonso’s technique and reliability have been highly praised. He’s one of the drivers who suffers the fewest amount of breakdowns, although luck hasn’t been with him in his most recent races.
There are currently two other Spanish drivers competing in the Formula 1. Carlos Sainz Jr. is the most noteworthy given both his racing results and the legacy of his family; he’s the son of a rally champion also named Carlos Sainz. The Formula 1 driver is proving himself to be a great competitor with Toro Rosso despite the limitations of the car he drives with a relatively “minor” team in regards to Red Bull. However, following a similar trend, he’ll soon start racing with the big teams.
He’s accompanied by Roberto Merhi who’s from Castellón and drives with the Manor Marussia F1 Team. Despite not being one of the top racing teams, Merhi has finished all the races to date, where he’s proven his competitive spirit and creative strategies within the abilities of his team.
Moto GP – Spanish domination on wheels
Moto GP is the most important motorcycle competition in the world, and Marc Márquez is a 4 time world champion and the current title defender with Repsol Honda. Dani Pedrosa, his teammate, is following closely behind with three world championships and great determination to overtake Márquez’s success. His injuries however are leaving him with fewer and fewer possibilities to win a new title.
Racing with the team Movistar Yamaha is Jorge Lorenzo, who has amassed over 50 MotoGP victories; only Mick Doohan has won more.
Álvaro Bautista, Aleix Espargaró, Pol Espargaró, and Héctor Barberá are also Spanish racers competing among the best in MotoGP.
World Rally Championships
The World Rally Championships is one of the most complicated motor sport competitions there is; drivers need great technical skill, the ability to adapt to different types of driving surfaces, and the resistance that each centimeter of the track requires.
After a positive start in the 70s with Antonio Zanini, who finished 3rd in the 1973 Montecarlo Rally, it was Carlos Sainz who picked up the title of best Spanish driver of this tough sport. After winning the World Championship in 1990 and 1992, Sainz has continued to demonstrate his talent behind the wheel racking up a number of victories throughout his career.
Dani Sordo is currently Spain’s most prominent rally racer and the Hyundai Shell World Rally Team’s main driver. He’s still striving to win the World Rally Championship.