F1: Alonso back in saddle after fracturing jaw on bike ride
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Fernando Alonso says he has more to prove in Formula One, despite snatching two-world titles during his time in the sport, and a third isn’t out of the question.
Now, at nearly 40, Alonso returns to the sport with Alpine, the newly branded Renault team, after two years away racing in other categories.
His return to the sport is one of the most highly anticipated aspects of the new season, however questions have been raised about why he felt now was the right time to return, and if he would match up to the competitive line-up this season.
However, the 2005 and 2006 world champion insists he’s here to compete and feels in excellent shape.
He said: “I think the main thing as to why I came back is because I felt that I was at my best in the last couple of years, in the last couple of months.
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“I felt like I was driving better than ever, and I had to make a decision on what was the next challenge after Le Mans, Indy 500 – all the things that I have tried.
“I felt like being at my best now, maybe Formula One was the place to be, and I have time in the future to rethink some of the challenges that were not completed.
“That’s the main thing, I felt that I had something to do here again.
“To win races, to win championships, I think you need a few more things than just your motivation or your belief, you need a package, you need luck, you need momentum. That is something we want to build with the new Alpine name, and with the team.
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“I can not guarantee that, but I will fight for those wins and those championships in the future if we do all the things in our heads, but we’re not racing along.”
Winter training for Alonso was also marred by a recent cycling accident that landed him in hospital.
Having undergone a jaw operation at the time, Alonso revealed on the first day of pre-season testing there have been repercussions.
He continued: “One thing is the professional side and driving side, which is 100 per cent. On the personal side, obviously I will have to remove two titanium plates that I have on the upper jaw that will be removed at the end of the season.
“So, there is still something going on after the championship finishes but, as I said, they will not affect my professional life.”
Alonso returns as the oldest driver on the grid, due to head out on track in Alpine’s new A521 on Saturday, but says his absence in the sport hasn’t affected how he feels towards up-coming season.
“I don’t fear any particular challenge, let’s say that the midfield now is very competitive, so it’s something we are aware of and we need to maximise perfection every weekend if we want to score good points,” Alonso added.
“The challenge will not only be for me, but everybody in the team and everybody in the paddock, with 23 races so we have to be aware of that number as well and try to save energy,” Alonso continued.
“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 in terms of approaching the weekend, working with the team, I think it should be quite smooth.
“I was not two years at home, I was racing every weekend basically, so It should be fine.”
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