Fernando Alonso has revealed he will require further surgery on the broken jaw he suffered in a cycling accident, but not until after the 2021 Formula 1 season.

The returning two-time world champion’s preparations for his F1 comeback with the rebranded Alpine squad hit a setback when he fractured his jaw in a cycling accident while training last month.

Alonso underwent a successful corrective operation on the fracture and has fully recovered in time to take part in pre-season testing this week in Bahrain, with the Spaniard set to drive Alpine’s new-look A521 for the first time on Saturday.

Asked how badly the injury had impacted him, Alonso replied: “I don’t expect any issues, honestly.

“I’ve been training for now three weeks or two weeks, absolutely normal. I’ve been in the simulator as well Monday and Tuesday so the preparations were not affected too much.

“I missed only a couple of marketing days and filming days, which I was happy about in a way! Then I recovered everything yesterday afternoon, I had a very intense day of marketing activities.

"I feel fine. Obviously one thing is the professional side and driving side, which I’m 100 percent.

“On the personal I will have to remove two titanium plates which I have in the upper jaw which will be removed at the end of the season. So still some things going on at the end of the championship but it will not affect my professional life.”

Alonso has stressed he is returning to F1 a “more complete” driver after spending the last two years racing in different categories including the Le Mans 24 Hours, Indy 500 and Dakar Rally.

And the 39-year-old feels ready to take on the challenge of an intense midfield scrap amid F1’s longest-ever season in 2021, which features a record-breaking 23 rounds.

“I don’t fear any particular challenge,” he said.

“How the midfield is right now is very competitive, so it’s something that we are aware of, that we need to maximise and make perfection every weekend if we want to score good points.

“Then another challenge, not only for me but everybody in the team and in the paddock, will be the 23 races.

“We have to be aware of that number and try to save energy when you can during the year, even in the month of June, August, September, even if you feel fresh the more you save, the better you will be in November, December.

“There are a couple of things after being a few years out I will have to relearn a little bit and get used to but in terms of driving again or in terms of approaching the weekend working with the team, it should be quite smooth.

“I was not two years at home, I was racing every weekend basically, so it should be fine.”

 

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