Fernando Alonso will be able to resume training after ‘a few days of complete rest’.
He was involved in a road accident yesterday while cycling, and an Alpine statement today said he’d fractured his upper jaw and had a corrective operation yesterday.
However, they said he’ll be monitored in his Swiss hospital for 48 hours and then be free to return home, as long as no complications arise.
Alpine’s statement said: “Following his cycling accident yesterday Fernando Alonso was kept under observation in hospital in Switzerland.
“The attending medical team are satisfied with his progress. Looking forward, after a few days of complete rest, he will be able to progressively resume training.
“We expect him be fully operational to undertake preparation for the season.”
The two-time world champion was announced as returning to the Enstone team for his third stint. Announced in July, it’s since changed its name to Alpine but remained under the Renault umbrella.
The news was initially met with mixed reaction, as some fans would’ve preferred the seat to go to a member of Renault’s young driver programme.
However, the hype train for Alonso’s return has continued to grow as last season progressed and the news that he should be able to take the grid in Bahrain as planned will be welcomed by the majority of F1 fans.
At Alpine, the 39-year old will partner Esteban Ocon who’s in the last year of his initial two-year deal at Enstone. The Frenchman struggled last year in the team with Daniel Ricciardo, finishing with barely over half the points of his teammate, although did pick up his first F1 podium at the Sakhir GP.
He’ll be fighting to keep his seat next year with a plethora of quality midfield drivers becoming available – including his longtime arch-rival Pierre Gasly.
However, he only has to look at Stoffel Vandoorne, who Ocon raced against from 2016-18, to see how tough it can be for Alonso’s teammate, especially when fighting for your seat.