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Why Alonso saw F1 return as a "luxury"

Why Alonso saw F1 return as a "luxury"

F1 News

Why Alonso saw F1 return as a "luxury"

Why Alonso saw F1 return as a "luxury"

Fernando Alonso has labelled his freedom to rejoin F1 as a "luxury" with few drivers previously afforded a similar opportunity.

Alonso joined an exclusive list of drivers to rejoin F1 after a spell on the sidelines when teaming up with Alpine for the 2021 season, having initially turned his back on the sport following four testing years at McLaren.

Seven-time champion Michael Schumacher and 2007 winner Kimi Raikkonen both made similar moves in recent history, whilst Alain Prost and Niki Lauda both took titles after making a comeback.

Reflecting on his comeback year which included a return to the podium in Qatar, Alonso told a post-season media briefing including GPFans: “On track and off track, I did enjoy the time with the team in this comeback so I was super happy.

“I had the luxury to come back to the sport. When I decided I stop, when I decided I came back, this is a very high luxury, because normally it is a very small group of drivers that can drive a Formula 1 [car] and it's not easy to have these kinds of possibilities, so I feel thankful for this."

After struggling for pace in pre-season testing and in the early races of the year, Alonso recovered to end the year 10th in the drivers' standings.

The Spaniard narrowly edged out team-mate Esteban Ocon for the placing despite the Frenchman taking his maiden F1 victory at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Addressing his improvement across the year, Alonso added: “The way the season has been for me, from improving every time, I'm finishing very strong, it was the best way to prepare 2022.”

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