Fernando Alonso undergoes surgery for fractured jaw; expects return for F1 season

Fernando Alonso jaw surgery
Mario Renzi - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images
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ENSTONE, England — Two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso should fully recover from surgery on a fractured upper jaw following a cycling accident, his Alpine F1 team said Friday.

Alonso was taken to hospital after an accident in Switzerland on Thursday and he will remain under observation for a further 48 hours.

“Looking forward, after a few days of complete rest, he will be able to progressively resume training,” Alpine said in a statement. “We expect him to be fully operational to undertake preparation for the season.”

Alonso tweeted an upbeat note to his fans Friday morning.

Preseason testing begins at the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir on March 12 and the first race will also be held there on March 28.

The Spaniard has won 32 F1 races, with 97 podium finishes. He is returning to F1 this year after retiring at the end of his final season with McLaren in 2018.

Alonso, 39, won his two world titles with French manufacturer Renault, which was re-branded as Alpine for 2021.

According to the La Gazzetta dello Sport in Italy, Alonso was taken to a hospital after the incident. The newspaper reported he was hit by a car while on a training ride near the city of Lugano. According to a Friday report from Autosport, police in Switzerland released a statement that Alonso hit a car that was entering the parking lot of a supermarket.

Alonso finished 21st in the 2020 Indianapolis 500, his second start at Indianapolis Motor Speedway after leading the race as a rookie in 2017. With a two-year commitment to Alpine, Alonso said in August that he wouldn’t be able to consider racing again at Indy until 2023.

Alonso, who will race alongside French driver Esteban Ocon next year, had quit F1 to focus on winning motorsport’s triple crown.

Having already won the Monaco Grand Prix, he won the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race but still is hunting the Indianapolis 500.

Alonso, who is widely considered among the world’s most talented drivers, has 97 podium finishes in F1. He is sixth on the all-time victory list, but his last came at the Spanish GP seven years ago with Ferrari. He finished runner-up in the title race three times with the famed Italian manufacturer before joining McLaren in 2015.