It's not often - in fact, ever - that I feel compelled to credit my mother for the inspiration behind an AUTOSPORT feature, but in this case I must, for it was in conversation with her last Christmas that I set out on a path that I hope leads us all to deeper understanding of one of Formula 1's biggest stars.
"We see and read so much about these F1 drivers, but what are they actually like?" my mother asked me. "What kind of people are they?" She mentioned Fernando Alonso as someone she would particularly like to know more about.
It struck me that she had a valid point.