Fernando Alonso Reveals the Michael Schumacher-Esque Difficulties of His F1 Return

Published 10/07/2021, 8:36 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Italian Grand Prix – Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Monza, Italy – September 9, 2021 Alpine’s Fernando Alonso during a press conference Pool via REUTERS/Luca Bruno


Fernando Alonso returned to Formula One after a hiatus of two years from the sport. The two-time world champion returned with the newly branded Alpine F1 Team to replace Daniel Ricciardo. After a slow start to the season, Alonso has finally caught up and is now back on speed.

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But he mentioned he knew that the return might be tougher. He pointed out the struggles of Michael Schumacher, who returned to the sport in 2010 after not racing for three years.

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I knew what difficulties I could face: Fernando Alonso

As reported by Auto Und Motor Sport, the Spaniard stated he had to work harder than before. He also mentioned that he knew that the people in the team expected a little extra from him.

“It happened what I expected. I knew what difficulties I could face. We saw this on Michael’s return. After driving so many different cars, I wasn’t sure what it would be like in a Formula 1 car again,” said Alonso on his return.

Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Alpine’s Fernando Alonso during the press conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS

“People expect that little bit extra from me. If I do as my teammate does, it is normally perceived as a disappointment. That creates high expectations for me as a person. Nonetheless, I’m happy about the comeback.”

“The challenge was to adapt mentally and physically to these cars. After two years, my neck is no longer used to the strain and I am no longer 20 years old. I had to put in extra layers compared to what I was used to,” said the Alpine driver.

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The Alpine driver mentions he is still not at 100 percent

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Alonso mentioned he is still as good as when he left in 2018, but he stated he is not entirely satisfied with his performance and his pace in the qualifying. He said that he is at 95 percent and not 100.

Formula One F1 – Belgian Grand Prix – Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium – August 28, 2021, Alpine’s Fernando Alonso during practice REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

“I would say I’m just as good or a little worse than 2018. I’m not 100 percent satisfied with my performance, especially on Saturdays. It’s still difficult for me to understand where the tire’s performance is, said Fernando. (quotes translated from German to English via Google Translate)

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As of now, the double world champion has more points than his teammate. Also, Alonso is currently the highest driver in the standings without a podium. That being said, he would love to top off his season with a visit to the podium.

How do you rate Alonso’s return? Let us know.

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Devang Chauhan

452 articles

Devang Chauhan is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having completed his graduation in Journalism and Mass Communication, he has a keen eye for writing engaging and detailed articles on F1. Previously a writer for Sports Social's 'Chase Your Sport' Magazine, Devang has been an ardent follower of the sport for over a decade and has attended two editions of the Indian Grand Prix.

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