Fernando Alonso thinks that his pre-season cycling accident may have influenced his struggles to adapt to the Alpine car at the beginning of the year.
The Spaniard made his comeback to Formula 1 this season following two years away, but his preparations seemed to hit a setback in February when he was involved in a collision with a car whilst cycling in Switzerland.
Alonso underwent surgery on a fractured upper jaw, but was still able to begin the season on time in March. Whilst he admits it was not too much of a worry at that point, the two-time World Champion now believes that the incident resulted in him taking longer to adjust to the Alpine due to missing some preparation time in the car.
"I think at that time it was not a concern," Alonso told the Beyond The Grid podcast.
"Because quickly the doctor said that I will be fine within 10 or 12 days after the operation, and that was at the beginning of February, so it was not a concern.
"But looking at how the beginning of the season went on my side, I think more time in the car was needed. More time in [the] winter period was needed for me in the simulator at the factory.
"Maybe I missed one Paul Ricard test with a 2018 car that the team did at the beginning. It took me five or six races to get to my 100 percent this year.
"Maybe without the accident that [would have happened] after two or three [races], so it was a setback in a way."
Alonso's accident has not deterred him from cycling, though he has made some changes to how he approaches the activity.
"I still cycle a lot, but I would say that it did change a little bit [of] my approach for training daily," he explained.
"It's not that I'm afraid now, of course, but I try to plan my day in a different way. Maybe I take the car and I go out of the city, 10 kilometres or whatever, to a quiet place, when I know that there are some trails or something to cycle a little more comfortably there.
"So I'm aware that I'm doing things that before I was not even thinking of, and I'm a little bit more careful on the bike now."
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