FERNANDO ALONSO will race the entire year of his highly-anticipated Formula One return with metal plates in his jaw.
The Spaniard suffered a fractured jaw in a cycling accident last month but says he is not expecting any problems as he gets back in the cockpit on Saturday.
Fernando Alonso is back in the saddle after his horror bike crashCredit: Splash News
He said: “I am fine. I am happy to be here back in the paddock and in the sport.
“After the accident, three or four weeks ago, I had 10 days relaxing at home and after the surgery I had to relax a bit but after that, I went back to a normal routine and preparation.
“I don’t expect any pain. I have been training for a few weeks absolutely normally. I have been in the simulator.
“I missed only a couple of marketing days and films days, which I was happy in a way. I feel fine.
“On the professional side and the driver side I am 100 percent and on the personal side, I will have to remove two titanium plates on the upper jaw at the end of the season.
“So there is something going on after the championship finishes but it will not be affecting my professional life.”
The two-time world champion has returned to the sport with the rebranded Renault team, now known as Alpine.
Alonso, who quit F1 in 2018, spent last year racing in the Dakar series and again missed out on winning the Indy 500.
Keen cyclist Alonso suffered the accident ahead of the new seasonCredit: Instagram @fernandoalo_oficial
Team-mate Esteban Ocon got Alpine’s testing underway on FridayCredit: AFP or licensors
But the 39-year-old says he still has unfinished business in the sport and decided to come back to F1.
He said: “The main thing of why I am here was because I felt that I was at my best in the last couple of years.
“I felt like I was driving better than ever and I had to make a decision on what was the next challenge after LeMans.
“And I thought that being at my best now, maybe Formula One was the place to be and I have time in the future to look at the challenges that were not completed.
“So that was the main thing, I felt that I had something to do here again.”
Alonso was quizzed if winning the title was within his grasp, as there is renewed hope at the French team.
I cannot guarantee it, but we will fight for those wins and championships in the future if we do those things.
He added: “To win races and championships, you need a few more things than just your motivation or beliefs.
“You need the package, the laps and the momentum and that is something we are looking to build with the new Alpine name.
“So yeah, I cannot guarantee it, but we will fight for those wins and championships in the future if we do those things but we are not racing alone.”