Alonso's father built him a kart when he was merely two years old other than it was not until he was 13 that he was able to do any serious racing. He won the Spanish cadet national kart title in 1994. Two years later he won the World Junior Karting title and he continued in karts until 1999 when he moved into car racing in the Nissan Open series in Spain, driving for former F1 driver Adrian Campos's team. He won the title at his first challenge and then moved into Formula 3000 with assistance from Telefonica.
He raced for Team Astromega and won the Spa race and finished fourth in the series. He was signed to an organization contract by Flavio Briatore and as a result was soon named as a Minardi test driver and in 2001 became the number one driver for the team, which had just been bought by Australia's Paul Stoddart. After an inspiring first season Alonso took the decision to become the Renault test driver in 2002, in the knowledge that he would graduate to the race team in 2003. He joined Renault as expected and with the impressive R23 was able to well and won his first victory in Hungary in August.
Furthermore Alonso was implicated in a spy scandal when it was discovered that Ferrari technical information had been leaked to McLaren. Four wins were not enough to get the championship for Alonso. He and Hamilton each ended up with 109 points, one shy of the 110 scored by champion Kimi Raikkonen.