“He hasn’t driven in F1 for two years” – Former world champion Alain Prost speaks on the return of Fernando Alonso to F1 and his return to form with Alpine.
There were high hopes from Fernando Alonso after he made his return to the sport after a sabbatical of two years. And whilst he struggled initially – retiring in Bahrain and finishing outside the Top 10 in Barcelona and Monaco – he is now finding his feet and contributing to Alpine.
— Alpine F1 Team (@AlpineF1Team) June 20, 2021
Alain Prost, a Formula 1 legend and advisor to the team, is not surprised with his slow start. Speaking to Motorsport.com, he declared Alonso is back to his best after impressive Top 10 finishes in Azerbaijan and France.
“I always remember when I stopped for what really were just six months in 1992, how difficult it was [coming] back. But we were testing every week, we were testing all the time. So it was obvious Fernando couldn’t be at the top from the beginning. It’s a new car, a new team and also he hasn’t driven in F1 for two years.
“He had the goal of the French Grand Prix, more or less saying ‘well, I need four or five races’. It’s nothing special, it’s something normal. Now he’s back, sure.
“It was difficult physically, physiologically. You need time to get everything right. The automatisms, vision, and everything else were difficult for me, so I realised how difficult it must be for someone like Fernando who didn’t do F1 for two years.
“And then he only has a day-and-a-half of pre-season testing with the new car, with all the systems he needs to understand. I don’t know if age is a factor. But in Fernando Alonso’s case, he’s very strong, he’s still in good shape.”