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Forget age, 'only the stopwatch matters' - Alonso

Forget age, 'only the stopwatch matters' - Alonso

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Forget age, 'only the stopwatch matters' - Alonso

Forget age, 'only the stopwatch matters' - Alonso

Fernando Alonso has dismissed comments he is too old to return to Formula 1, telling critics to pay close attention to the stopwatch.

Alonso will return to F1 after a two-year absence, linking up with Renault for the third time in his career.

Recent years have seen records tumble for the youngest grand prix winner and the youngest champion, records once held by Alonso, but the Spaniard, who will turn 40 during his 2021 return, says the stopwatch will show if he still has what it takes to compete in F1.

"I saw Formula 1 for many years, the stopwatch is the only thing that matters, not the age," said Alonso.

"I never have the classification in the race based on the passport, date of birth, always by the stopwatch, so hopefully I am still fast, or faster than them."

He added: "I feel ready and I feel that I am 100 per cent in terms of driving.

"Physically as well, I have to prebuild my body. I have to start very specific fitness preparation. We started in February, so now I'm 100 per cent.

"We did a couple of fitness tests 15-days ago, and [I scored] the best results ever in my career, so I'm still extremely motivated, hungry and stronger than ever."

Alonso is far from the only F1 champion to have briefly stepped away from the sport, with Niki Lauda, Alain Prost, Nigel Mansell, Michael Schumacher and Kimi Raikkonen all doing similar.

Indeed, both Lauda and Prost won the title upon their return.

In his time away, Alonso spent arguably more time behind the wheel than ever, the Spaniard saying: "Last year especially it was a very active season for me," continued Alonso. "This year, it's the same for everyone, because Formula 1 did one race in Austria, I did a three-week race in Dakar [the Dakar Rally].

"The world had stopped for several months, so we are all in the same position.

"I think last year, between all the endurance racing, between IMSA [WeatherTech SportsCar Championship], between WEC [World Endurance Championship], between Dakar preparations, I was behind the steering wheel nearly every week of the year."

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