Formula 1

Broken jaw will only impact Alonso after F1 season ends

by Scott Mitchell-Malm
3 min read

Fernando Alonso says the broken jaw he suffered in a cycling accident will only impact him after the current Formula 1 season ends, as he needs two titanium plates removed.

Two-time world champion Alonso is preparing for his F1 comeback with the Alpine team and will drive the A521 for the first time on the second day of pre-season testing in Bahrain this week.

He and Alpine insisted when the car was revealed a week ago – and Alonso missed the event – that the surgery Alonso had undergone after being hit by a car in Switzerland had not impacted his efforts to be ready for the start of the season.

Speaking on Friday in Bahrain as testing began, Alonso reiterated he was “feeling fine and ready to go in the car”.

He explained that he had a week and a half after the surgery when he was required to “relax” but then switched to a “very normal routine” including fitness preparation.

“I don’t expect any issues, honestly,” Alonso said.

“I’ve been training for three weeks or two weeks, absolutely normal. I’ve been in the simulator as well Monday and Tuesday.

“The preparations were not affected too much. I missed only a couple of marketing days and filming days which I was happy [about] in a way! I recovered everything yesterday afternoon, so I had a very intense day yesterday on marketing activities.

“But I feel fine. One thing is the professional side and driving side which I’m at 100%.

Fernando Alonso

“On the personal side, I will have to remove two titanium plates that I have on the upper jaw, which I will get removed I think at the end of the season.

“But it will not be affecting my professional life.”

Alonso is returning to the team where he won both his F1 titles, though that was 15 years and several iterations of ‘Team Enstone’ ago.

Fernando Alonso 2006

As Renault, the works team scored three podiums finishes last year to finally end its rostrum drought since it rejoined the grid in 2016.

But it is still yet to assert itself as the leading midfield team, let alone show signs of establishing itself as a potential winner of races and championships again.

Alonso, who is now 39, knows his biggest chance with Alpine comes with the new 2022 technical rules, and that this season he will find himself in a hard midfield fight on his F1 comeback.

“I don’t fear any particular challenge,” said Alonso, who won the Le Mans 24 Hours and competed in the Indianapolis 500 and Dakar Rally during his two-year F1 sabbatical.

“How the midfield is right now, it is very competitive, and it’s something that we are aware of.

“We need to maximise and we need to make perfection every weekend if we want to score good points.

“Then another challenge but not only for me is going to be for everybody in the team, and everybody in the paddock, will be the 23 races.

Fernando Alonso

“We have to try to save energy when you can during the year, even in June, August, September, even if you feel fresh, the more you save the better you will be in November, December.

“There are a couple of things that after being two years out, I will have to relearn a little bit and get used to, but in terms of driving or approaching the weekend working with the team I think it should be quite smooth.

“I was not at home for two years. I was racing every weekend, basically, so it should be fine.”

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