Fernando Alonso batted away questions about his age on his Formula 1 return, as the 39-year-old said he isn’t committing to a timeline for success with Alpine.
After winning his two world championship titles with Renault in the 2000s, Alonso changed teams four times before switching his focus to sportscar racing at the end of 2018.
Renault’s rebranded Alpine team ended a five-year wait for a podium last year. Alonso has returned as the team sets its sights on returning to the front of the field when F1 overhauls its technical regulations in 2022.
However he admitted there are “no guarantees” of success on his return.
“I think you just have your own confidence trying to deliver what the team expects from you. There are no guarantees that I will be as in 2018. But I hope so.
“When I decided to be back I was trying to focus into the preparation, not only physically, but also technically, being with the team last year or the second part of the season and trying to be up to speed in the F1 language per se. Which is a little bit more technical than some other categories.”
Alonso is approaching his comeback with the aim without “a clear target or a clear time set on things”, and says age doesn’t come into his commitment.
“I’m so far enjoying and I know that the repeated question is my age, on my comeback, but I’m a little bit surprised because I’m not that old,” he said.
“The world champion and the guy dominating the sport is 36. It’s not that I’m 20 years older or something, to have the repeat question every time.”
He is already signed for the 2022 F1 season, where he is optimistic about what Alpine can deliver.
“The target in terms of results, what I want to do is, is testing myself and try to help the team in this important moment of this transition from Renault to Alpine and the great future that I think this team has for the next coming years and the new set of regulations.”