Alonso in 'best shape ever', physically and mentally


Fernando Alonso says he feels great and is in the best shape he's ever been ahead of his return to Formula 1 this year with the Alpine F1 Team.

Alonso returns to Grand Prix racing this season after a two-year hiatus during which the Spaniard raced in the Indy 500, at Le Mans and in the Dakar off-road rally, giving free rein to his sense of motorsport adventure.

But the 39-year-old has succumbed once again to F1's calling, teaming up with Alpine, or the former Enstone that helped him secure his two world titles in F1.

Alonso's preparations suffered a set-back recently when he collided with a car while cycling near his home in Switzerland, emerging with a broken jaw from the mishap.

But despite the painful tumble, the F1 returnee is fit and well and raring to go.

"I feel great and in the best shape I’ve ever been before both physically and mentally," he said in Alpine's team presentation on Tuesday.

"I’ve been preparing myself for this comeback for quite a while now and I have a fresh motivation. I’m ready!

"I normally think that it takes every driver on the grid three or four races to optimise everything on a new car, maybe a bit more if you change teams or if you are new to F1," he added.

"To be 100% up to speed it can take at least the first couple of races, but it is the same for everybody.

"I also had a small setback with a bike accident a few weeks ago, but luckily the preparation and my fitness will not be impacted and I’m ready to go."

Alonso says that competing in other racing series in the recent past further honed his experience and has left him a "more complete driver".

"You constantly learn when you push yourself to new limits and when you are out of your comfort zone. Without a doubt, I’m a more competent driver now than two years ago," he said.

"I want to improve even more as a driver. I took a lot of learnings from the last two years away from the sport, and I want to consolidate these and apply them in F1. For example, different philosophies of racing, driving techniques and approaches to work ethic.

"In terms of results it’s so difficult to predict. Last year the midfield pack was very close so this year anything can happen."

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