Alonso will be absent from Alpine F1 launch

Fernando Alonso will take no part in Alpine's 2021 Formula 1 car launch next week as he continues his preparations for the new season following a cycling accident.

Alonso will be absent from Alpine F1 launch
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Two-time world champion Alonso is set to make his F1 comeback this year with Alpine after over two years away from the series.

The Spaniard was involved in a collision with a car while cycling on the road near Lugano in Switzerland earlier this month, leaving him with a fracture to his upper jaw that required surgery.

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Alonso was discharged 48 hours after the surgery, with the team saying that it expected him to be "fully operational to undertake preparation for the season" in the coming weeks. Alonso has since shared a number of posts on social media showing him completing training exercises.

But in confirming plans for the virtual launch of the new A521 F1 car on 2 March, Alpine said that Alonso would not be taking part in any media activities next week.

"We regret to confirm that Fernando Alonso will not be present for the media Q&A on this occasion," the team stated.

"The sanitary situation and corresponding regulations in place do not allow him to do any communications and marketing activities while he undertakes his critical season preparation.

"We will instead publish a Q&A with Fernando for media use and he will be available for media in Bahrain for official pre-season testing."

The virtual launch will be conducted from the UK, but the existing travel restrictions in place mean that elite sportsmen travelling from overseas can only avoid self-isolation to attend competitive events.

It would appear that as Alonso's preparations have been delayed due to his cycling accident, the timeline for his pre-season training has also shifted, explaining his absence from the launch.

The virtual launch will feature Alonso's new F1 teammate, Esteban Ocon, as well as newly-appointed racing director Davide Brivio, who has joined from Suzuki's world championship-winning MotoGP squad.

Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi will also take part in media engagements, having taken over in the role as part of the Renault Group's reshuffle of the Alpine brand, as well executive director Marcin Budkowski.

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