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Alpine surprise at "lucky" Alonso's speed of recovery

Alpine surprise at "lucky" Alonso's speed of recovery

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Alpine surprise at "lucky" Alonso's speed of recovery

Alpine surprise at "lucky" Alonso's speed of recovery

Fernando Alonso's speed of recovery from a cycling accident that left him with a fractured jaw has surprised all at Alpine, according to new CEO Laurent Rossi.

In February, the two-time F1 champion was involved in a crash with a car in the Swiss town of Lugano which led to him undergoing corrective surgery and spending three nights in a local hospital.

While the incident delayed Alonso's preparations ahead of the new campaign, in which the 39-year-old returns to F1 after a two-year hiatus, he will be fit for the three-day pre-season test in Bahrain that begins on March 12.

"Fernando is doing very well," said Rossi, following the launch of the team's 2021 challenger, the A521.

"Obviously he had a very bad incident. A bike accident is rarely something that goes easy, but he was lucky and he ended up only suffering from his jaw.

"Besides necessary surgery and care on his jaw, the rest he is totally fine. Fernando is completely fit. He is totally operational, we are even surprised he has recovered so quickly.

"He confirmed to us almost immediately after the incident he would be in Bahrain.

"That has been confirmed with his doctors, and it looks like he was right because he is absolutely fit and we are looking forward to seeing him next week in the car."

Alonso, not present at the launch due to his injury and the logistical difficulties of travelling between Switzerland and the UK given the Covid-19 restrictions in place, concedes he has "been working hard" to prepare himself for his F1 return, with the target "to attack from the beginning".

He added: "I feel great and in the best shape I’ve ever been before both physically and mentally.

"I’ve been preparing myself for this comeback for quite a while now and I have a fresh motivation. I’m ready!

"Driving the car for the first time is going to be a very exciting experience and I hope both factories can savour the moment.

"We have a strong team and together with Esteban we must push on from last year and deliver results. We know it’s going to be a very competitive season, but we’re ready for the challenge."

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