Fernando Alonso will require surgery to remove two titanium plates in his upper jaw after the 2021 Formula 1 season but doesn’t think his recent cycling crash will affect his driving.
The Spaniard fractured his upper jaw after colliding with a car while out training in Lugano last month, requiring surgery after the incident in Switzerland. Part of that procedure involved inserting titanium plates that Alonso says need to be removed after the season finishes, but he isn’t expecting any discomfort when he first gets back in an F1 car at testing on Saturday.
“I’m happy to be here, back in the paddock and back in the sport first of all,” Alonso said. “After the accident four weeks ago I had like 10 days to relax at home and after the surgery I had to relax a little bit.
“After nine, 10 days I went back to a very normal routine on fitness, preparation. I missed the team launch because the (COVID) restrictions at that time were quite tough between Switzerland and UK but I was feeling fine. Ready to go tomorrow in the car.
“I don’t expect any issues, honestly. I’ve been training for now three weeks or two weeks, absolutely normal. I’ve been in the simulator as well Monday and Tuesday so the preparations were not affected too much. I missed only a couple of marketing days and filming days, which I was happy about in a way! Then I recovered everything yesterday afternoon, I had a very intense day of marketing activities.
“I feel fine. Obviously one thing is the professional side and driving side, which I’m 100 percent. On the personal I will have to remove two titanium plates which I have in the upper jaw, which will be removed at the end of the season. So still some things going on at the end of the championship but it will not affect my professional life.”
While Alonso is wary of the demands of a record 23-race season on everyone involved in F1, he says there are no specific concerns he has about his return to the sport.
“I don’t fear any particular challenge. How the midfield is right now is very competitive, so it’s something that we are aware of, that we need to maximize and make perfection every weekend if we want to score good points.
“There are a couple of things, after being a few years out, I will have to relearn a little bit and get used to but in terms of driving again or in terms of approaching the weekend working with the team, it should be quite smooth. I was not two years at home — I was racing every weekend basically, so it should be fine.”