Fernando Alonso says he motivated than ever for his return after he learnt a lot being away from F1, expects surprises in 2021 results.

Having left F1 after ending his stint with McLaren, Alonso has raced and won in multiple championships. He has raced in endurance categories, single-seater series and also off-road rallying, in his time away, which has helped him to shape-up his career.

He now returns with Alpine, who are arguably in their best shape since their own return to the sport. The team – under the Renault name – had their first podium in 2020 and are looking in a good shape for the 2021 F1 season, as well.

While the top spot seems unreachable for the time being, Alpine is expecting itself to be in the top half of the midfield fight and Alonso has full confidence. This is the Spaniard’s last chance to have crack, to win his third F1 title and he is motivated hugely.

“I’m very excited for the entire [first] weekend,” said Alonso. “There has been a lot of preparation for this moment, not only with the entire team during testing and the work done at both factories over the winter period, but also personally.

“Ever since I agreed to join Alpine F1 Team, I have put a lot of effort in to be both physically and mentally prepared for this season. I learnt a lot in my time away from Formula 1, especially all the different styles of racing, but I’m now back in F1 and very motivated for what should be a challenging season ahead.

“It was fun to be back at the wheel of an F1 car for testing, but now I can’t wait to go racing,” summed up Alonso, as he then added about the test run and the expectation of surprises when the 2021 F1 season finally kicks-off in Bahrain this weekend.

“We covered a lot of mileage during testing, which is important as it gives you something to build on for the rest of the season,” said Alonso. “We also completed most of our programme during the three days in Bahrain, so we are relatively pleased on that front.

“In terms of performance it’s too early to tell, and I think we won’t know the true pecking order of the grid until the first qualifying session on Saturday where everyone has low fuel, the fastest tyres fitted and full power from the engine. I expect there will be a few surprises,” summed up Alonso.

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