Alonso’s ‘winter destiny’ is a trip to the hospital

Jon Wilde
Fernando Alonso during an Alpine team photoshoot. Yas Marina December 2021.

Fernando Alonso during an Alpine team photoshoot at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Yas Marina December 2021.

Rather than a well-deserved holiday, Fernando Alonso has a different initial off-season focus away from F1 – having plates removed from his jaw.

The Spaniard will obviously have some proper downtime as well, but a priority is further work on the injuries he sustained in a cycling accident as he built up towards his F1 return from two years away.

In February, Alonso was out training on his bicycle in Lugano, Switzerland where he was knocked over by a car. He needed reconstructive surgery on his face and jaw, with teeth having to be extracted and plates inserted into the area damaged.

The 40-year-old will undergo more treatment ahead of his aim to be even more competitive with Alpine when the new F1 regulations kick in for the 2022 campaign.

In the season just ended, Alonso recorded one podium finish, in Qatar, while his team-mate Esteban Ocon won the Hungarian Grand Prix.

“My destiny in winter will be to go to the hospital,” said the double former World Champion, quoted by Mundo Deportivo.

“First to have the plates removed from my face and jaw from the accident in February and then to have a few weeks’ rest because of it.”

Alonso, who was due to drive on day two of the post-season Pirelli tyre test in Abu Dhabi, thus remained at Yas Marina where he finished eighth in the 2021 finale, one place ahead of Ocon.

Despite finishing three places above his starting position, he thought his work had largely gone unnoticed due to all eyes being on the World Championship battle between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton.

At the start of his post-race interview, referenced Alonso’s points-scoring consistency, to which he jokingly replied: “You’re really interested in my race? I’m sure…

“We had some good fights with AlphaTauri…nobody saw, it’s okay.

“It was good fun, but definitely the main topic for the race was not to be in the way of the two contenders when they were coming to lap us and things like that.

“A double points finish for Alpine again, so a well-executed Sunday in terms of the team perspective and we finish the year strong. Hopefully we have a better package next year and I need to be more competitive.”


Alonso was in awe of the way F1 had somehow conjured up such a storybook season and climax.

“It’s unbelievable,” he said. “First of all, it’s well done to Formula 1. Well done to the sport. It has been a terrific season for everyone and for a sport to have two contenders tied on points in the last race, and the last lap of the race still wheel-to-wheel fighting, this is magic.

“Hopefully all the championships will be in this fashion in the future.

“But well done to both. I think both of them were outstanding this year. They both deserved to be champion.”