Fernando Alonso admits that in the first race of the season in Bahrain he will not be at 100% of his abilities after two years outside of Formula 1, but he believes that in a few races he can return to the highest level.

Alonso is returning to Formula 1 to his former team, which was renamed Alpine this year, and has successfully recovered from a cycling accident that forced him to undergo upper jaw surgery.

The 2005 and 2006 world champion said he is feeling ready and thinks he is better than the best drivers in Formula 1 at the moment, but believed it would take him some time to get to 100% of his speed.

“You always need time and I’m not at 100% yet,” said Alonso.

“It’s the same for a lot of people and for a lot of drivers who have changed teams, and some have to adjust to the new aerodynamic rules, to the tyres.”

“You’ll always feel more comfortable after five, six or four races so it’s no different for me either.”

“I’m happy where we are now, but I think after a few races I’ll feel more comfortable in the cockpit and my seat since we’re still doing small modifications for a better position, there are things we need to keep adjusting.”

2021 Bahrain GP Alonso in the car Thursday without helmet and mask Photo Alpine
Fernando Alonso, 2021 Bahrain GP Thursday 25 March Photo: Alpine

“There is no guarantee, but you have to have your confidence trying to deliver what the team is asking of you. There is no guarantee that I will be like 2018, but I hope I will.”

“When I decided to come back I tried to focus on preparations, not only physical but also technical, to be with the team in the second part of the season and try to keep up with the F1 language because it’s more of a technical sport than other categories.”

Alonso and Renault always pointed out that their chance to return to the top of the F1 is 2022 and that 2021 is a transitional year.

“I’m trying to make this comeback good and I’m trying to win the races and be as competitive as possible, but we don’t have a goal or clearly set deadlines for things,” Alonso added.

“So far I’m enjoying it, I know about questions about my age, but I’m a little surprised with it because I’m not that old. The world champion who dominates the sport is 35 or 36, it’s not that I’m 20 years older or something.”

“I want to test myself and try to help the team in this important moment of the transition from Renault to Alpine and in the bright future that the team expects in the coming years with the new rules.”

FERNANDO ALONSO – STATISTICAL OVERVIEW

Nationality Spanish
Date of birth 29 July, 1981
Place of birth Oviedo, Spain
Age 39
Height 171 cm
Weight 68 kg
F1 career 2001 –
Best classification Champion, 2005 and 2006
GP started 311
Wins 32
Podium places 97
Pole positions 23
Front row 37
Fastest laps 22
Points 1899
Races led 84
Official website fernandoalonso.com

(stats after 2018 F1 season)

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