Fernando Alonso names two F1 drivers who kept him glued to the TV during sabbatical

The veteran Alpine driver is also optimistic to have a competitive season in the 2022 championship.

Fernando Alonso became the third man over 40 in the last 34 years of F1 to secure a podium finish. (Twitter: @F1)

Veteran Formula 1 driver Ferrando Alonso took a two-year sabbatical from the championship but named two of his rivals who kept him glued to the television during his time off the grid. The Alpine driver, formerly known as Renault, believes that Mercedes driver George Russell and Dutch Champion Max Verstappen were on top of their forms and impressed him to the fore besides pointing out that Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo managed to do well with his car. Alonso, who won the championship twice — 2005 and 2006 — with his current constructors is also optimistic of a competitive season in 2022 and willing to make his experience count. 

“I said at the beginning of the championship as well, before it had even started, in Bahrain, that the driver that impressed me more when I was at home watching on TV was George [Russell], on the performance in the Williams, and Max [Verstappen]. Those were the two guys that I was switching on the TV…,” Alonso told Formula1.com. 

“And Daniel,” laughed Alonso, “because he was in the Renault and that car was very interesting to me last year, but no, I mean, they were giving something extra and that was the reason why I was putting on the TV.”

Alonso had suffered a crash last season which halted his preparations. He further insisted that he would need two weeks off in January to remove the metal pieces off his jaw and return physically stronger for the winter testing. 

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“I think we need a good winter that’s for sure, I need to be prepared or to get ready a little bit better than last year; the accident in February with the bicycle didn’t help last year,” he said before undergoing the surgery.

“This January I will have to remove the plates from the face so I will have two weeks in January off but probably I had those off anyway even without the surgery because it’s just time to relax. But after that we need to go into winter testing with a good programme, physically, and also in the car. And if the car is competitive, I’m sure I will be 100%.”

He highlighted that the new era with Alpine should turn out good with better cars supporting them. The veteran is also happy that the team doesn’t has any financial constraints and it will be upto the drivers to make the most of the situation. 

“And it’s up to us to do a good car; we will either do it or learn from our mistakes,” he said. “But there are no more [excuses]: we have less budget or we have less resources or they are using two wind tunnels. There are no more [of] all those things so it is up to us,” he concluded.

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