Two-time Formula 1 World Champion Fernando Alonso is not exactly expecting to set the F1 world on fire with this latest comeback.
Alonso, 39, will be making his first F1 start since 2018 on March 28 at the Bahrain Grand Prix. The Alpine driver may not be in line for wins or podiums this season—it may be hard to believe, but he hasn’t made it to the F1 podium since 2014 and he hasn’t won a race in the series since 2013—but that’s not what drives him this time around.
The game plan for this comeback is admittedly pretty loose.
“Formula 1, the sport in general, is not exactly automatic to where you can plan things ahead,” Alonso said in a video conference with the media on Thursday. “You are just trying to make it as fun as possible and as enjoyable as possible and at the same time you are working hard to deliver the results and to get those dreams that you have in your head.”
Alonso, who has been racing for the World Endurance Championship for Toyota the past two seasons, is not putting a schedule or time frame on what he wants to accomplish, whatever dreams he has in his head.
The driver tuns 40 in July.
“I know that people question my age on my comeback. but I’m not that old,” Alonso said.
His Alpine racing teammate Esteban Ocon, 24, agreed.
“He looks like 20,” Ocon said.
Alonso wasn’t willing to go quite that far.
“The World Champion and the guy dominating the sport (Lewis Hamilton) is 35, 36,” Alonso said, in reference to the 36-year-old seven-time champion. “It’s not like I’m 20 years older or something.”
Alonso comes into the season apparently fully recovered (though it was hard to tell during Thursday’s presser because Alonso was wearing a mask) from what was reported to be a nasty bicycle accident in February. Police in Switzerland said Alonso was struck by a car, and media reports from Switzerland reported that Alonso had surgery for a broken upper jaw.
Alonso had no complaints, however, after completing 78 laps during a three-day test session in Bahrain earlier in March. He posted the ninth-quickest time.
“I don’t have a clear target on what I want to achieve in this comeback,” Alonso said. “What I want to do is test myself and try to help the team in this important moment of this transition from Renault to Alpine and the great future that I think this team has for the coming years with the new set of regulations. The team, with the experience and knowledge that I accumulated through the years, I’ll try to build momentum for the team.
“We all love to win, but there is only one that can do that every Sunday, and the end of the year only one that can be champion. That’s a really difficult target to set. I will be happy, and I’ll consider that a success if we grow up together the team and myself in the next coming years and we are contenders sooner than later.”
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