Fernando Alonso admits he was wary of falling into Michael Schumacher trap

After departing McLaren at the end of the 2018 season, it took until 2021 for Fernando Alonso to race again in Formula 1, this time with Alpine.

The Formula 1 world was saddened in 2018, as then McLaren driver Fernando Alonso announced his retirement from Formula 1.

The Spaniard had grown frustrated by McLaren’s lack of competitiveness during his four years with the team, never finishing higher than tenth since his move from Ferrari.

Alonso was tempted back to the sport after two seasons away from Formula 1, as Renault had rebranded to Alpine and were on the lookout for a new driver to replace the McLaren-bound Daniel Ricciardo.

During his two years with Alpine, Alonso has shown that age is just a number, scoring a podium in Qatar last year alongside a host of other strong performances.

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The 41-year-old has now revealed that he initially had his doubts about returning to Formula 1, having looked at the somewhat disappointing return of Michael Schumacher to Formula 1 following his first retirement.

“I remembered Michael. When he came back, maybe he wasn’t 100 percent anymore – at least that was the feeling,” explained Alonso.

“I had a lot of self-confidence, but not so much that I was 100 percent sure that I would be fast enough to drive at the highest level.”

After walking away from Ferrari in 2006, Schumacher was tempted into a Formula 1 return with German car manufacturer Mercedes in 2010, but unfortunately lumbered to a ninth, eighth and thirteenth placed finished before retiring from F1 for good.

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Alonso will be joining up with Aston Martin for 2023 and beyond, after his relationship with Alpine turned toxic following a disappointing year for the Spaniard.

The 41-year-old put in the performances worthy of a best of the rest finish, however six DNFs, mainly as a result of mechanical or engine failures, saw Alonso finish in ninth place behind his teammate Esteban Ocon.

Despite his initial fears about returning to Formula 1, Alonso has claimed that he is pleased with how his second stint in the sport has begun, with his two seasons with Alpine being impressive.

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“Last year I didn’t perform at my best level, felt uncomfortable at times and had to overcome some challenges, while this year I was almost at 100 percent,” claimed the Spaniard.

“I’m satisfied with the two years [with Alpine]. That gives me momentum for the future. I’m very grateful to Alpine for giving me this chance.”

Alonso has recently expressed his delight following his first tests with Aston Martin, claiming that he sees serious potential in the team and their staff, even boldly suggesting that he could win a third drivers’ championship within the next three years.