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Alonso forced into 'sacrifices' to return to F1 'privilege'

Fernando Alonso left F1 at the end of 2018, but was back in 2021 with Alpine before switching to Aston Martin for 2023.

Fernando Alonso has revealed how he was forced into making "sacrifices" in his personal life before his return to Formula 1. Two-time champion Alonso left Grand Prix racing at the end of the 2018 season, growing frustrated in uncompetitive McLaren machinery, but was back with Alpine for 2021 after competing in events such as the Dakar Rally and the Indianapolis 500 during his time away. Alonso is now with Aston Martin and, with the car being competitive, the oldest driver on the grid at 41 (he is 42 in July) is back in with opportunities to score podiums and possibly wins, having claimed third in the 2023 opener in Bahrain. The Spaniard has now spoken about dedicating himself to F1, which he describes as his "passion."

Alonso made sacrifices

"I keep motivated always to compete, even when I tried to stop Formula 1 in 2018, I couldn't make it and I was in different cars every weekend, with the World Endurance Championship, or Dakar, or Indy or whatever," Alonso told media, including RacingNews365.com. "When I came back to Formula 1, for sure, I decided that I had to sacrifice other things in life and dedicate myself for another period of time, maybe three, maybe five, maybe seven years to the sport. "There are no secrets, you dedicate your life to your passion and you know your body better as well, so you train better, eat better and so make your career longer."

No concerns on age

Alonso is just the latest driver to race into their early 40s in recent years, with Kimi Raikkonen (42) and Michael Schumacher (43) both racing into their fifth decade. The Aston Martin driver currently holds the record for most Grand Prix starts at 356, and is set to hit the 400 mark in the 22nd race of the 2024 season should he start every race between now and then. Despite his advancing years, Alonso has "no concerns" about his age and is firm that he will know when it is time to hang up the helmet. "I'm privileged to still drive here better than ever," he explained. "I have no concerns on age yet, I will be the first to feel it, when l lose something, when I miss something while driving or not being motivated to travel or to wake up in the morning and train or just come here for testing. "So far, I only see advantages because I know the car, I know the tyres, and some of the circuits we will drive this year, I've been driving already in the past, so I don't see a disadvantage."

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