Alpine driver Fernando Alonso has revealed that he has had fresh surgery on his jaw and is now recovering following a cycling accident last year.
Alonso returned to Formula 1 last season with the Alpine team following a two-year hiatus after his departure from McLaren in 2018.
The Spaniard is, however, no stranger to early season drama.
He missed the opening round of the 2015 season in Melbourne following a nasty crash in pre-season testing in Barcelona.
A year later, he suffered a horrible crash with Haas’ Esteban Gutierrez at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, but miraculously came out unscathed.
In February last year, the Spaniard endured yet another accident, but this time it occurred on two wheels rather than four.
He was taken to hospital after a hefty collision while cycling in Switzerland, and needed to have metal plates inserted into his face as a result.
After racing with them throughout 2021, he needed surgery ahead of the 2022 campaign to have those plates removed.
Alonso has confirmed that he has successfully had surgery to remove the plates from his face.
“I had an operation last week and was in hospital for a while. Now I am recovering from the operation,” said Alonso, as quoted by Speedweek.
“I couldn’t participate this time but of course I’m following the race, especially Team Alpine Sport with car number 36,” said the 40-year-old, commenting on the Virtual 24 Hours of Le Mans race which he had to miss as a result of the operation.
“It’s a great event and I wanted to be part of it too, together with my team-mate Esteban Ocon.
“We wanted to be in the same car but because I couldn’t make it due to the procedure, I think he also postponed his participation until later. But I think we will make up for it one day.”
The number 36 car, sporting a livery which had hints of Alonso’s championship-winning Renault machines in 2005 and 2006, was shared by Victor Martins, Sacha Lehmann, Patrik Sipos and Olli Pahkala.
They retired from the race due to an engine issue.
New F1 wold champion Max Verstappen also took part, racing the number 123 car for his RedLine Esports team, and he missed out on pole by two-thousandths of a second.
He claimed the lead on the opening lap, only to crash during his evening stint after his team had led much of the race.