Fernando Alonso says he is feeling “young” and “sharp” ahead of his return to Formula 1 in 2021 with Alpine.
Alonso became an iconic name in Formula 1 after bursting onto the scene in the early 2000s. Come 2005, he tasted World Championship glory for the first time as part of the Renault team, retaining the Drivers’ Championship in 2006 to become a two-time World Champion.
At the end of the 2018 campaign, Alonso walked away from Formula 1.
For 2021 though, he makes his comeback with Alpine, effectively his third spell with the team formerly known as Renault, looking to add to his two titles and tally of 32 race wins.
Asked when appearing on the WTF1 podcast why he decided to leave Formula 1 back in 2018, Alonso replied: “I had other things on my mind, and my head was busy on IndyCar and the ‘Triple Crown’ goal.
“I wanted to finish the World Endurance Championship in the best way possible. At that time Australia [Grand Prix] 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’.”
Alonso, of course, has made the decision to give Formula 1 another shot and although the new regulations, designed to level the playing field somewhat and improve the quality of racing, have been delayed until 2022, Alonso says he feels “young” and “sharp”, very much ready to “try again” in Formula 1.
“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.”