Review: Fernando

Fernando Alonso

Winning 24 Hours of Le Mans twice. Winning two Championships. Making it 97 times onto the stage while 32 as a winner. Yep, saying that the Spanish driver Fernando Alonso has an impressive palmares would be a massive understatement. While his career has been a tumultuous one with a few comebacks, his influence is felt both on and off the tracks. He already rode for a few of the most significant F1 teams such as Ferrari and McLaren, and earlier this summer, he announced that he would sit behind the wheel for the Alpine F1 Team during the 2021 and 2022 seasons.

Amazon decided to release a five-part documentary about both his personal and professional life to honour this well-respected and well-loved driver. If you’re an F1 fan, then this documentary is one you should absolutely see as ‘Fernando’ takes you on a high-speed rollercoaster with lows, highs, and some crashes in between.

Racing to victories

I’m not going to stop, probably the thought that was on Alonso’s mind multiple times, is also the title of the very first episode of Fernando. It deals with his final months at McLaren and shows us his first victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the one that happened in 2018. Later it will turn out that Alonso would also win the 2019 edition of that same race (which you will be able to see in the third episode). While during this episode, we see a lot of highs, such as his first victories (both as a young driver as well as the champion we all know) and how he became a hero in Spain, we see many lows during the second episode, “I don’t know what to say”, such as Alonso having to deal with not passing some pre-qualifications.

As mentioned before, you will see all the action of Le Mans 2019, during which Alonso raced towards his second title, in this third act. “Everything is possible,” doesn’t only show the possibility of winning prestigious races but also the possibility of cracking down almost under the heated pressure. This episode takes you to Dakar where Alonso prepared himself for the Dakar Rally. This series isn’t only about the professional life of Alonso but also the more personal one. Throughout the series, we don’t only meet his inner circle that consists of his manager Luis García Abad, his partner Linda Morelli, his sister Lorena Alonso, and his colleagues Marc Gené and Carlos Sainz, but we also see his off-track appointments.

That fourth episode, “Out of my environment,” heightens those personal gatherings as it focusses on the museum that Fernando Alonso has in Asturias in which his trophies and his cars are on display for everyone to watch. Right at the end of the episode, we see him stepping back into his car to participate in the Rally of Morocco. “Mission Accomplished” concludes this documentary and focuses on the apotheose, the Dakar Rally. You won’t only get breath-taking footage from the race, but you will also see what it’s like for an experienced driver to take part in a race for the very first time.

24 Hours of Le Mans 2019 Full Highlights

Loads of respect from both sides

Ahead of this release, Alonso shared some insight into the making of this documentary. He’s very protective about the people around him when it comes to his and their privacy and having cameras on him for almost 24/7 wasn’t easy for him. There was a lot of negotiation between him and the production team to make sure that everything was filmed in the right and most respectful way. Alonso made the decision about what he wanted to see in the documentary and what not. The respect is clearly visible in Fernando. The team really treated the rider with the utmost respect. We see his personal life brought in an emotional and intimate way, but it never feels like it is being exploited for entertainment.

Unique, thrilling, and exciting portrayal

What will the upcoming months bring for Alonso? Probably rigorous preparations for the upcoming season with a brand new sponsor. It was also announced that the filming of the second season is already underway and that it will be about Alonso’s return to the F1. Fernando is a unique, thrilling, and exciting portrayal of a World Champion that doesn’t only Alonso’s deepest personal feelings but also the biggest victories in F1.

Fernando (Official Trailer)

Fernando is out now on Amazon Prime

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Also Read: The Film Fan’s Guide To Time Travel

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