One of Fernando Alonso’s biggest prides when travelling around the world as a
Formula 1 driver has always been to represent, besides the team he is competing
for, the country he comes from. The flags of Spain and his beloved Asturias have
been present on his helmet since he took his first steps in the world of motorsport,
when he combined school and karting, with the dream of making it one day to the
pinnacle of motorsport: Formula 1.

Fernando holds two World Championships in the top category of motorsport along
with various karting championships and those of other categories that he passed
through before taking the step into Formula 1 in 2001. However there are other
acknowledgements that the Ferrari driver has received throughout his career that
he is very proud of. In 2005, just before winning his first World Championship,
Fernando had the honour of receiving the Príncipe de Asturias award for sports and
today he has been named honorary ambassador of the “Spain Brand” in front of the
same cast as eight years ago: the Princes of Asturias.

In an act which took place this morning at the Banco Santander’s Financial City, in
Madrid, Fernando was awarded an accreditation which publicly acknowledges
those persons, enterprises or institutions who have contributed the most throughout
their professional trajectory to strengthening the image of Spain abroad. Through
this award the Foro de Marcas Renombradas Españolas (Forum of Renowned
Spanish Brands), FMRE, has also acknowledged the Spanish driver’s career away
from the tracks. The FMRE is a conglomerate of over 100 companies, the Instituto
Español de Comercio Exterior (Spanish Institute of Foreign Trade), ICEX, and the
Oficina Española de Patentes y Marcas (Spanish Office of Patents and Brands),
OEPM, along with the ministries of Industry, Energy and Tourism; Economy and
Competitiveness, and Foreign Affairs and Cooperation.

Along with Fernando, receiving their awards, which were celebrating their fifth
edition, were actor Antonio Banderas (in the Culture and Communications
category), chef José Andrés (Tourism and Gastronomy), the director of the María
Blasco National Centre for Oncologic Investigation (Science and Innovation), Isak
Andic (Business Management), the National Transplants Organization (Social
Action), professor Pedro Nueno (Institutional Relations) and the high-speed rail
service, Alta Velocidad Española, (extraordinary accreditation).

It was precisely the award winner in the Culture and Communications category,
Antonio Banderas, who spoke on behalf of all the winners, in an act that also saw
the Minister of Industry, Energy and Tourism, José Manuel Soria; the High
Commissioner of the Government for the Spain Brand, Carlos Espinosa de los
Monteros; the Executive Chairman of the Banco Santander, Emilio Botín, and the
Executive Chairman of the FMRE and Freixenet, José Luis Bonet, participate.