Fernando Alonso hits the Dakar's desert road

After months of preparation and a few warm-up events, Fernando Alonso hit the 2020 Dakar's desert roads on Sunday.

The legendary rally-raid kicked off on Sunday in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where the 12-stage event takes place this year.

Alonso and Toyota Gazoo Racing teammate and navigator Marc Coma were greeted a ton of applause by the fans on the presentation podium.

But despite the local crowd's enthusiasm, the two-time F1 champion and Le Mans winner is keepi,ng his expectations in check.

"I do nothing to prove anything, I do it for fun," he said

"If I can make a good Dakar and be fast in cross-country or rally cars of this type, I would have little more to prove.

"Let someone else win everything I won and then be fast in cross-country...

"I do not come for publicity, I do not need it. I would have more fun in another discipline where you are more in your comfort zone. This is something totally new and outside of your control.

"The main objective is to try to finish. After all, I would like to reach the end and be able to say that I have finished a Dakar."