Alonso says F1 return will be two years 'minimum', picks his best season

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Fernando Alonso is sure his Formula 1 comeback will be a "minimum of two" years but will assess options after 2022.

The double world champion returned to the grid this season with Alpine, two seasons after leaving McLaren at the end of 2018 to compete in other series.

During his absence, however, Alonso made it clear he was interested in F1's new cars for next year and the potential to compete for wins and maybe that elusive third world title.

And while 2021 is set to be another year stuck in the midfield, the 39-year-old made it clear he remains committed to sampling the sport's new era.

“For sure a minimum of two because I want to see the 2022 cars, but then after that, I think I will see how I feel,” Alonso told Sky Sports.

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“I will see how the car feels as well because there are high hopes for the new regulations that the fighting will be better, that we will be able to race closer to another car, so there are many things we have to discover in 2022.

"Everyone wants to win and winning the Championship next year is a dream we all have, but we have to wait and see. Let’s cross our fingers.”

In the same interview, Fernando looked back on his first stint in F1 and picked out what he considered his best year. 

“I think my best season was 2012 in terms of driving style, results and extracting the maximum from that Ferrari,” he stated, referring to the year when he finished second to Sebastian Vettel after a tense decider in Brazil.

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“I think 2012 I always put my 100%. I’m hopefully close to that 100% and I have learned so many things in the last two years outside Formula 1 that I’m curious to see how I can take those learnings into racing here again.”

This year, Alonso also finds himself in a unique situation of sharing the track with two second-generation drivers with fathers that he raced during his early career. 

“It’s true that I was contemporaries with Jos [Verstappen] and Michael [Schumacher] but when you are in the car and you look in the mirror or at the car in front you are not thinking if it’s Mick Schumacher or Max Verstappen, you are just fighting with yourself,” he said.

“I think there are some amazing young talents on the 2021 grid and they are the future of Formula 1, I understand that. But on Sundays, you don’t think that way.”