Alonso: Making success of F1 comeback not to be underestimated

Fernando Alonso says the challenge of making a successful Formula 1 comeback 'should not be underestimated'.

Alonso: Making success of F1 comeback not to be underestimated

The two-time F1 world champion returned to grand prix racing at the start of 2021, having spent two seasons away from the series following his departure from McLaren at the end of 2018.

While the initial races after his return were difficult for him, as he admitted to playing catch-up in getting used to the cars, tyres and controls, he made rapid progress over the second half of that campaign.

And, off the back of some impressive performances in 2022, Alonso has netted himself a long-term contract to race for Aston Martin from next year.

While he now appears to be back to peak form, and claims he is driving better than ever, the Spaniard concedes that it has not been a straightforward path to get there.

In particular, he suggests that even he had doubts about whether or not he could make a success of it after his initial laps back in an F1 car at the end of 2020.

“Coming back to the sport is never a guarantee that you will be okay and competitive, and you still enjoy everything in Formula 1,” he said.

“So I had some concerns, obviously, two years ago, when I did the demo [in Abu Dhabi], before the young driver test in 2020.

“And I think last year I was not maybe 100% happy with the performance and with how the season went.

“This year, I'm much more happy with the car and with the performance itself, and much more I think ready for the next challenge.

“So, you cannot underestimate coming back to the sport. But you need a few races or even one full season to feel 100% again, and it is what happened to me. But I'm happy now that I feel a very good level.”

Fernando Alonso, Alpine A521

Fernando Alonso, Alpine A521

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

While Alonso enjoyed his time away from F1, he says that returning to F1 came on to his radar when plans for a new rules era were finalised.

“In 2018, for me, even the front wing, I don’t know if you noticed, it was written ‘see you later,’" he said. “It was not a bye-bye.

“So, in a way, in my head, it was always the 2021 rules, an opportunity to come back.

“I had in my head different challenges at that point. I wanted to race in Daytona, in Dakar, in Le Mans. I wanted to fight for a World Endurance Championship. I don't know, I had different things, and Formula 1 was not a priority, or I didn't have my head in Formula 1 anymore.

Read Also:

“But I love Formula 1. And I felt that in 2021 it could be an opportunity with the new rules and maybe everything re-shuffles a little bit, in terms of how the teams are, or the competitiveness of them.

“So I fulfil all my boxes in those years away from Formula 1, and I still watch the races at home. And yeah, the rules. They postponed the rules one year for 2022. But I came in 2021 anyway.”

shares
comments
Tickets for F1 Spanish Grand Prix and Catalan MotoGP 2023 now on sale
Previous article

Tickets for F1 Spanish Grand Prix and Catalan MotoGP 2023 now on sale

Next article

Max Verstappen samples Honda NSX-GT Super GT car

Max Verstappen samples Honda NSX-GT Super GT car
Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss Plus

Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss

OPINION: Fred Vasseur has spent only a few weeks as team principal for the Ferrari Formula 1 team, but is already intent on taking the Scuderia back to the very top. And despite it being arguably the most demanding job in motorsport, the Frenchman is relishing the challenge

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023 Plus

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023

Changes to the regulations for season two of Formula 1's ground-effects era aim to smooth out last year’s troubles and shut down loopholes. But what areas have been targeted, and what impact will this have?

Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history? Plus

Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history?

Who are the quickest drivers in Formula 1 history? LUKE SMITH asked a jury of experienced and international panel of experts and F1 insiders. Some of them have worked closely with F1’s fastest-ever drivers – so who better to vote on our all-time top 50? We’re talking all-out speed here rather than size of trophy cabinet, so the results may surprise you…

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2023
One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1 Plus

One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1

OPINION: During what is traditionally a very quiet time of year in the Formula 1 news cycle, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has been generating headlines. He’s been commenting on massive topics in a championship that loves them, but also addressing necessary smaller changes too. Here we suggest a further refinement that would be a big boon to fans

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
How can McLaren keep hold of Norris? Plus

How can McLaren keep hold of Norris?

Lando Norris is no longer the young cheeky-chappy at McLaren; he’s now the established ace. And F1's big guns will come calling if the team can’t give him a competitive car. Here's what the team needs to do to retain its prize asset

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make? Plus

What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make?

While a quick pitstop can make all the difference to the outcome of a Formula 1 race, most team managers say consistency is more important than pure speed. MATT KEW analyses the fastest pitstops from last season to see which ones – if any – made a genuine impact

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2023
When F1 ‘holiday’ races kept drivers busy through the winter Plus

When F1 ‘holiday’ races kept drivers busy through the winter

Modern Formula 1 fans have grown accustomed to a lull in racing during winter in the northern hemisphere. But, as MAURICE HAMILTON explains, there was a time when teams headed south of the equator rather than bunkering down in the factory. And why not? There was fun to be had, money to be made and reputations to forge…

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2023
What Porsche social media frenzy says about F1’s manufacturer allure Plus

What Porsche social media frenzy says about F1’s manufacturer allure

Porsche whipped up a frenzy thanks to a cryptic social media post last week and, although it turned out to be a false alarm, it also highlighted why manufacturers remain such an important element in terms of the attraction that they bring to F1. It is little wonder that several other manufacturers are bidding for a slice of the action

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2023