Amid Alonso’s Uncertainty, 4 Times F1 Drivers Missed the Season Opener

February 12, 2021 12:45 pm

Fans of Fernando Alonso and F1 were distressed to hear the news about the driver’s road cycling accident. However, a team statement from Alpine arrived soon after, emphasizing that the Spaniard is ‘conscious and well in himself’.

Further medical examinations will determine if ‘Magic Alonso’ would be fit to race in the 2021 season opener in Bahrain. Should he decide to sit out the event, Alpine could have a few contenders, such as Guanyu Zhou or even Nico Hulkenberg to replace him.

Drivers in the past have suffered a few injuries that have kept them out of racing in an F1 season opener. So without further ado, let’s take a look at some of those –

Robert Kubica – Renault

Having tested the Renault R31 car in Valencia during official testing, Kubica looked all set to take part in the 2011 F1 season. However, he suffered a severe injury during a rally racing event in February and was forced to sit out for the entire campaign, before only fully returning with Williams in 2019.

Valtteri Bottas – Williams F1

LE CASTELLET, FRANCE: Second place qualifier Valtteri Bottas of Finland and Mercedes GP looks on in parc ferme during qualifying for the F1 Grand Prix of France at Circuit Paul Ricard in Le Castellet, France. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

After sustaining tissue damage as part of a back injury during the 2015 Australian GP qualifying, the Finn was ruled out of participating in the grand event at Melbourne. Following his recovery, however, he came back to race in that year’s Malaysian Grand Prix.

Pascal Wehrlein – Sauber F1

Following a big crash in a Race of Champions’ event, Pascal endured a compression fracture in the neck. That kept him out of the season’s opening races in Australia and China. Having completed some rehabilitation, though, the German was back in the car to drive in the 2017 Bahrain GP.

Fernando Alonso – McLaren

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY – Fernando Alonso of Spain and McLaren F1 walks in the Paddock after practice for the Formula One Grand Prix of Hungary at Hungaroring in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

After crashing in pre-season testing in Barcelona, Alonso reportedly suffered a concussion. The veteran Spaniard had to thus unfortunately sit out the 2015 Australian GP. Following a successful recovery, he returned almost immediately at the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Therefore, it is obviously still early to predict whether Alonso will be out for the 2021 Bahrain GP. Hopefully then, in a few months’ time, the 39-year-old will be fit to drive.

In doing so, he will look to enthrall the audience with his racing once again, following a healthy recovery.

MORE – Three Drivers Who Could Stand In for Fernando Alonso at Alpine F1 in Bahrain

Bhargav Gopal

Hailing from Bengaluru, Bhargav is an F1 and NASCAR author for EssentiallySports. He is a huge fan of Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing. Bhargav also has an MBA in Sports Management from the Symbiosis School of Sports Sciences, Pune. Bhargav is quite a genius in his field, having won the All-India Marketing Case Study Competition 2015. He also loves to combine his love for marketing and sports by taking part in competitions like Knockout: Sports Marketing Case Study by IIM Ahmedabad.

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