Who is Fernando Alonso? He is a double Formula 1 world champion, of course; a Spanish sporting idol, undoubtedly; and he is one of the very best racing drivers of his generation, arguably. But others would say he is perhaps a ruthless operator, always placing his own needs above those of his team; possibly a voracious political animal, saying anything to advance his own cause, whatever the consequences; and potentially a Machiavellian megalomaniac, prepared to crush all who stand in the way of his irrepressible will to win.
Fernando Alonso is many things to many people, depending on allegiance, perception, caricature and misconception. This is true of all sporting stars. How you act, and the actions attributed to you, defines you; it becomes you. You cannot escape it, whether it is true or not.
What follows is an attempt both to transcend and confront the preconceptions surrounding one of F1's biggest stars. It is an attempt to understand what defines one of motorsport's most enigmatic and complex personalities. It is a journey to find out who Fernando Alonso really is.