Fernando Alonso says he has “no clear target” on his return to Formula 1 after spending two years away from the sport.

The Spaniard will make his return to F1 this weekend in Bahrain with the newly rebranded Alpine team, formerly Renault - the team Alonso won his only two drivers’ titles with in 2005 and 2006.

With Alpine’s true level of competitiveness still unknown following just three days of winter testing, Alonso is keeping expectations down going into the new season and is targeting just progress for the Enstone-based outfit in 2021.

“I don’t have a clear target on what I want to achieve in this comeback,” Alonso said. “A target in terms of results. What I want to do is test myself and try to help the team in this important moment of this transition from Renault to Alpine and this great future I think this team has for the next coming years and the new set of regulations.

“I’m here to help the team with the experience and the knowledge that I may accumulate over the years and try to build a momentum into the team that can carry on from 2022 and into the future. We all love to win, but there is only one that can do that every Sunday and at the end of the year only one can become champion, so that’s a very difficult target to set.

“I will be happy and I will consider it a success if we grew up together - the team and myself - in the next coming years and we are a contender sooner than later.”

Alonso spent two years away from F1 competing in the World Endurance Championship, IndyCar and the Dakar Rally.

Speaking ahead of his first F1 race since the 2018 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Alonso admits he’s not “100 percent” ready but expects it will only take a handful of races until he is completely comfortable again in an F1 car.

“It always takes time and I’m not 100 percent yet,” Alonso added. “It is the same for many people I guess and many drivers, some of them changed teams, some of them need to re-adapt a little bit to the new aero regulations, the tyres, you will always feel more comfortable after five or six full races, so for me it’s no different. 

“I’m happy where we are now but I think in a couple of races I will feel more comfortable. Even in the cockpit, the seat, we are still making small modifications, pedal positions, there are things that we need to keep readjusting.”

 

 

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