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Alonso: 2023 first 'normal' pre-season after injury scare

2023 is set to be Fernando Alonso's third pre-season back since he returned to F1 in 2021.

Fernando Alonso believes 2023 will mark his first "normal" pre-season since his Formula 1 return three years ago due to lasting effects of his cycling accident. Alonso has joined Aston Martin for the new season, having spent two years with Alpine after returning in 2021 having left Grand Prix racing at the end of '18, after growing disillusioned with the championship. However, the Spanish driver believes that the new start with the Silverstone-based squad is the first pre-season he has had where he is in good physical condition since returning from an accident and subsequent facial surgery.

In early 2021, Alonso was knocked off his bicycle while out training, suffering a fractured upper jaw, disrupting his comeback preparations. He raced with metal plates inserted, with further surgery being required over the 2021/22 off-season to remove them, meaning the two-time World Champion finally has a clean bill of health going into '23. "About the physical aspect, I'm fitter than ever," Alonso told media, including RacingNews365.com , at the launch of the AMR23. "It is just the way you know yourself, the way you train, and the last two years, the winter have been difficult. "In 2021, I had the bicycle accident, I could not move for three weeks and last winter also to remove the plates and things from the face. "This is really the first winter I could do a normal preparation [since my comeback], so I am happy.

Aston not happy with "fourth"

Aston are embarking on an aggressive recruitment drive, and investing in brand-new facilities at their Silverstone hub, including a new factory. Alonso is pleased by what he has seen - as the team is as equally ambitious as he is. "I'm very motivated and very happy with the things that I'm seeing," he explained. "This team is not happy with fourth, this team is not happy with third, this team is not happy with second, this is what I feel from everyone here. "They are not giving expectations that are unrealistic, we know what they are. "We know that last year, only three teams finished on the same lap of the leader - it was really good from Ferrari and Mercedes, everybody else was one lap behind, including [best 'midfielders'] Alpine and McLaren. "We know that those kinds of gaps in Formula 1 are very difficult to overcome in two or three months, but let's see if we can have a good season, enjoy good reliability and make sure that the team grows up during the season."

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RESULTS 2024 F1 Chinese Grand Prix - Sprint Shootout