F1: Alonso back in saddle after fracturing jaw on bike ride
Fernando Alonso has warned Sebastian Vettel not to underestimate the difficulty of making an F1 comeback. The Spaniard is one of a handful of stars who can speak from experience, having sat out for two years between 2019 and 2021, and the Aston Martin star has given some advice to his predecessor on the prospect of returning to motorsport.
Vettel walked away from F1 at the end of last season, with fellow multiple world champion Alonso snapping up his Aston Martin seat. Buoyed by newfound pace, the team have come on leaps and bounds since then, surpassing expectations by notching seven podiums in 2023.
During a recent interview with Sky Sports pundit Martin Brundle, Vettel hinted that he could draw a line under last year’s emotional farewell and one day return to the grid.
“I can’t say no, because that you don’t know,” explained the 36-year-old. “I can’t exclude it. I’m race-ready, but because I want to be, not because I’m like, ‘come back or if somebody falls out I’m going to [step in]’, not because of that.”
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When asked for his interpretation of Vettel’s comments, Alonso warned that slipping back into the competitive rhythm would not be easy.
“I was not in the interview or conversation,” he said. “Sometimes we read the headline and we don’t understand the tone of the answer.
“It’s up to him. The challenge of coming back can’t be underestimated. It would be a challenge for sure.”
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Alonso has been the driving force behind Aston Martin’s success this season, notching all of the team’s podiums and amassing more than three times as many points as Lance Stroll.
After a strong start to the year, the likes of Ferrari and Mercedes have gradually caught up, leaving Aston in a fight for second place in the Constructors’ Championship.
Last time out in Monza, Alonso and Stroll picked up only two points between them. The veteran Spaniard is hopeful that things will pick up in Singapore this weekend.
“Everything runs a bit hotter than normal, the walls are very close on these street circuits,” he added.
“You need to have that confidence in the car, the same as in Monaco and Baku. So let’s see if we can build that confidence in free practice and get a good race.
“I hope we are faster here than in Monza but it’s difficult to say. It’s very tight. We have to wait, see and build momentum from FP1.”
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