A raging bull. The fighter pure. The ultimate competitor. The fire and fury of a double world champion who looked set to become the naturally dominant successor to Michael Schumacher.
Then came Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull; then came Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes. Different authors, same story: total world domination. Even fired-up Ferrari and Fernando couldn't beat that challenge - though how hard they tried from 2010-13.
It's 11 seasons since Alonso won a world title; nearly five since he won a grand prix - romantics will remember his '13 victory lap of the Barcelona circuit, his fist gripping a Bandera de Espana, which fluttered from the cockpit.