Alonso: "Luxury" to leave and return to F1 on my own terms

Fernando Alonso says it was a “luxury” to be able to leave and return to Formula 1 on his own terms after enjoying his comeback season with Alpine in 2021.

Alonso: "Luxury" to leave and return to F1 on my own terms
Listen to this article

Two-time world champion Alonso returned to F1 last year after spending two seasons out of the series to explore other racing disciplines.

After leaving F1 at the end of 2018 following a four-season stint with McLaren, Alonso raced at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Indianapolis 500 and the Dakar Rally.

Alonso enjoyed a successful comeback season with Alpine as he scored one podium finish in Qatar, as well as playing a crucial role in teammate Esteban Ocon’s shock victory in Hungary.

Alonso said earlier in the year that he had enjoyed his F1 comeback more than he expected, and reflected on the season as a whole as being “a good year for me”.

“On-track and off-track, I did enjoy the time with the team, and in this comeback, I was super happy,” Alonso said.

“I had the luxury to come back to the sport when I decided. When I decided, I stopped. When I decided, I came back. This is a very high luxury.

“Normally it is a very small group of drivers that can drive in Formula 1, and it’s not easy to have these kind of possibilities. I felt thankful for this.

“And also the way that the season has been for me, from improving every time and finishing very strong, it was the best way to prepare for 2022.”

Fernando Alonso, Alpine A521

Fernando Alonso, Alpine A521

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Alonso initially took a few races to get up to speed and readjust to life back in F1, explaining that he found the front tyres particularly difficult to get to grips with.

“The biggest challenge was probably the front tyres and the philosophy that every team has in terms of front suspension, front power steering, feedback that you get on the steering wheel,” Alonso said.

“That’s obviously very unique for each of the teams. And the front tyre construction did change from 2020 to 2021, and that was a challenge, I think, for everybody.

“But it was a challenge apparently for the people that changed teams, we saw at the beginning of the year, and for me as well, because I was two years out of the sport.

“The most rewarding moments were for sure the highs, and the moments that we performed a little bit better. Obviously the victory from Esteban in Hungary, that was the best moment for us as a team.

“My podium in Qatar was obviously a very nice feeling.”

Read Also:
shares
comments

Related video

How F1 wheel rim covers work, why they were banned and why they’re back

The steps Norris took to reach a new level in the 2021 F1 season

Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver

Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
Alex Kalinuackas

Assessing Hamilton's Mercedes stint Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver

Why new-look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era

Why new-look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
Jonathan Noble

Why new-look Haas is a litmus test Why new-look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era

The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff

The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
Alex Kalinauckas

Assessing Wolff's Mercedes influence The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff

The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate

The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
GP Racing

The line-up Ocon, Gasly may emulate The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate

Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022?

Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022?

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
GP Racing

Who were the fastest F1 drivers? Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022?

Nico Hulkenberg: Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return

Nico Hulkenberg: Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
Adam Cooper

Why Hulkenberg is ready for return Nico Hulkenberg: Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return

Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss

Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
Jonathan Noble

Why Vasseur relishes the pressure Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
Jake Boxall-Legge

F1 2023's crucial tech changes The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023