Fernando Alonso is ready to give Formula 1 another shot this year, and the 39-year-old insists he's feeling "young and sharp" ahead of his return to active duty with Alpine F1.
Alonso last raced in F1 in 2018 when he concluded a four-year stint with McLaren that had started with the promise of a success, only for the Spaniard's hopes to transform into castles in the air.
The two-time F1 world champion dovetailed his final year in F1 with a successful onslaught on the World Endurance Championship and the Le Mans 24 Hours with Toyota, rewarding triumphs that somewhat made up for his disappointment in F1.
On a podcast streamed by WTF1, Alonso revisited the reasons why he left Grand Prix racing at the end of 2018.
"I had other things on my mind, and my head was busy on IndyCar and the ‘Triple Crown’ goal," he explained, alluding to his second and ill-fated attempt to tackle the Indianapolis 500.
"I wanted to finish the World Endurance Championship in the best way possible. At that time Australia and Sebring 2019 were clashing.
"I wanted to win the World Endurance Championship, I wanted to complete the second Le Mans, I had Daytona, the Rolex 24 with Cadillac on my mind as well. I had the feeling I could try Dakar again also in 2020.
"I had too many things in my head that were not F1. F1 was not appealing at that time for me, it was not offering what other series were offering at that time.
"So, I thought ‘look, it’s better to stop here, I don’t know if I will come back with the new regulations in 2021 or not, so let’s say this is my final race’."
But F1 and its inescapable appeal came calling once again. And despite no opportunity to return to the fray with a front-running team, Alonso committed to Alpine.
While this season will be a transition year for the French outfit ahead of the introduction of F1's new regulations in 2022, Alonso is raring to go and give F1 another try.
"After I completed some of those challenges, missing only the Indy500, I thought this was the right time to come back, even if the new regulations are for 2022," he said.
"I feel good, I feel young, I feel sharp, so let’s try again."