Fernando Alonso intends to be better prepared for the 2022 Formula 1 season than he was for his comeback year ahead of surgery related to his cycling accident last February.
The Spaniard was making a return to F1 after two years away from the sport but had his pre-season preparations with Alpine interrupted by a crash while training on his bike. The incident involving a car left Alonso requiring surgery on his jaw and he will have a further operation next month. Even so, he hopes to enjoy smoother pre-season preparations this time around.
“I’m closer (to 100%) than 10 months ago!” Alonso said. “Difficult to know when is the limit and where we could get next year but I think we need a good winter, that’s for sure. I need to be prepared, to get ready a little bit better than last year (when) the cycle accident in February didn’t help.
“This January I will have to remove the plates from the face so I will have two weeks in January off, but probably I had those weeks off anyway without the surgery as it is time to relax. But after that we need to go into winter testing with a good program physically, and also in the car, and get ready. And if the car is competitive I’m sure I will be 100%.”
On team radio after the final race in Abu Dhabi, Alonso likened 2021 for Alpine as like a boxer sparring as part of a warm-up for a big fight, and says it was important to show his confidence in his team.
— Alpine F1 Team (@AlpineF1Team) December 14, 2021
“I think that a message that you always do on the last race of the championship, you have to be confident. There are a lot of people working in the factories … Yeah, the radio message from the last lap is obviously a motivation message s well for the people at the factory. They’ve been working on the project for so many months now… We are all optimistic they can do the job.”