Fernando Alonso enjoying first normal season prep since F1 return

Jamie Woodhouse
Fernando Alonso in the Aston Martin AMR23 cockpit. Silverstone February 2023.

Fernando Alonso in the Aston Martin AMR23 cockpit. Silverstone February 2023.

As F1 2023 approaches, Fernando Alonso said that his past cycling accident had impacted his pre-season work since returning to the series until now.

Alonso struck a deal to return to Formula 1 as of the 2021 season with Alpine, marking a third stint with the Enstone-based team, but the build-up to that campaign was far from ideal.

In February of that year, the Spaniard would require surgery on a broken jaw – the injury sustained in a collision with a car while he was out training on his bike.

Two years have now passed since this incident, but the aftereffects have been long-lasting, Alonso revealing that it has taken him until these F1 2023 preparations to be able to return to what he would consider a normal schedule.

The two-time World Champion has switched teams for 2023 having signed a multi-year contract with the ambitious Aston Martin outfit.

Speaking to media, including PlanetF1.com, Alonso said: “About the physical aspect, yes, I’m fitter than ever. But I think it’s just the way you know yourself, the way you train.

“The last two years, the winters – they have been difficult. In 2021 I had a bicycle accident, I could not move for three weeks and last winter also had to remove the plates and things from the face.

“So this was really the first winter that I could do a normal preparation. So I’m happy.”

The ultimate goal for Aston Martin is to rise to the very front of the Formula 1 grid and fight for wins and championships.

Alonso has already had a little dig at his former team Alpine by saying that they were “happy with fourth” while Aston Martin are not, though in the short-term, that is a more realistic goal for the Aston Martin team.

Having finished P7 in the 2022 Constructors’ standings, Alonso hopes that in 2023, Aston Martin will start chipping away at the significant buffer which the top three of Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes enjoyed over the rest last season.

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“I’m very motivated, I’m very happy with the things that I’m seeing,” said Alonso as he settles into life as an Aston Martin driver.

“As I said, this team is not happy with fourth, this team is not happy with third, this team is not happy with second. And this is what I feel from everyone here.

“So at the same time, they are not giving expectations that are unrealistic. So they know where we are, we know that last year, only three teams, they finished in the same level of the leader. So it was Red Bull, Ferrari, and Mercedes. Everybody else was one lap behind, including Alpine that finished fourth in the Championship, and McLaren.

“So we know that those kind of gaps in Formula 1 are very difficult to overcome in two or three months. But let’s see if we can have a good season, enjoy, have a good reliability and make sure that the team grows up during the season.”