Fernando Alonso face his second season after his return to F1, from which he stayed away for another two after leaving McLaren in 2018. Those were two years in which he tested endurance, the Indy and the Dakar. But during his many adventures he did not completely disengage from the Great Circus and remained attentive to everything that happened and followed the great prizes on television. And two pilots were the ones who especially called his attention, as he himself has revealed: Max Verstappen and George Russell.
“I said at the beginning of the championship, before it started, in Bahrain, that the pilots that impressed me the most when I was at home watching on TV were George (Russell), about the performance at Williams, and Max (Verstappen). Those were the two guys for whom I was turning on the television…They were giving something extra”, acknowledges the Spaniard in a statement to the championship website.
Nor did he lose sight of the performance of the Renaults, a team to which he returned in 2021, already under the Alpine name: “There was also Daniel (Ricciardo). Because I was in the Renault and that car interested me a lot last year.” Now you know first-hand how the Enstone factory has evolved.
In his second season at Alpine, the Spaniard hopes to have a less hectic and calmer preseason than last year, in which an accident while training on his bike complicated his preparation: “I think we need a good winter, that’s for sure, I need to be prepared or prepared a little better than last year; February’s bike accident didn’t help last year“. Fortunately, that episode is in the past and the pilot himself confirmed that the plates have already been removed: “I had surgery last week and I was in the hospital for a while. Now I am recovering from this operation. After that we have to go to the winter tests with a good program, physically and also in the car. And if the car is competitive, I’m sure I will be 100%. And it’s up to us to make a good car; we will do it or we will learn from our mistakes”, concludes Alonso, already fully embarked on El Plan.
A Plan that also includes the 24 Hours of Le Mans, a competition in which Alonso has reigned twice. During the virtual test event, which takes place this weekend, the Spaniard assessed the possibility of returning to Circuit de la Sarthe: “Yes, it’s in the Plan. I don’t know when or with whom. But I love that race and its atmosphere. I love Endurance in general. It’s the essence of racing. I think Le Mans is obviously the best But I also had fun at the Spa 6, at Fuji, at Bahrain, at Daytona… I think Endurance is probably the real DNA of motorsport.”