Fernando Alonso suffered a broken jaw after he was involved in a road accident while cycling, his Formula One team have confirmed.
The 39-year-old suffered the accident while riding in Switzerland on Thursday.
The Spanish driver is due to return to the grid this season following two years away.
And while his injuries are understandably serious, Alpine F1 expect him to be “fully operational” by the time the season begins in Bahrain next month.
A statement from the team read: “Following his cycling accident yesterday Fernando Alonso was kept under observation in hospital in Switzerland.
“Medics discovered a fracture in his upper jaw and conducted a successful corrective operation. The attending medical team are satisfied with his progress. Fernando will remain under observation in hospital for a further 48 hours.
“Looking forward, after a few days of complete rest, he will be able to progressively resume training. We expect him to be fully operational to undertake preparation for the season.”
Alonso has competed in 311 grands prix, winning 32 of them. He won successive championships with Renault in 2005 and 2006 before quitting McLaren after one season following a turbulent campaign alongside the then-rookie Lewis Hamilton.
He briefly returned to Renault ahead of a four-year period at Ferrari where he came close to winning the title on two occasions.
After falling out with the Italian team, he went back to McLaren, but the switch proved desperately unsuccessful.
In 2018, Alonso quit the sport and set his sights on becoming only the second driver since Britain’s Graham Hill to complete the so-called Triple Crown - winning the Monaco Grand Prix, Le Mans 24 Hours and Indy 500.
Although he won the famous sportscar endurance race in 2018 and 2019 he has not been able to crack the Indy 500, despite a remarkable effort on his first appearance back in 2017.
This season, he is due to drive alongside Esteban Ocon at Renault, rebranded as Alpine for 2021, following Daniel Ricciardo’s switch to McLaren.
Additional reporting by PA
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