Alonso undergoes jaw surgery after road accident

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Two-time Formula One world champion Fernando Alonso has undergone corrective surgery on his jaw after being involved in a road traffic accident on Thursday.

Alonso was knocked off his bike while cycling in Switzerland. Alonso is set to return to F1 with Renault’s rebranded team, Alpine, this season, which starts with preseason testing in Bahrain on March 12.

On Friday, Alpine confirmed he sustained a fractured upper jaw in the accident. The surgery was a success and the Spaniard will be kept under observation for a further 48 hours.

Alpine’s statement concluded: “We expect him to be fully operational to undertake preparation for the season”.

Local police also released a statement on the incident: “The Cantonal Police has announced that yesterday, shortly before 2pm in Viganello, a 42-year-old Swiss driver living in the Lugano area was driving along Via La Santa in the direction of Pregassona.

“According to an initial reconstruction and for reasons that the police investigation will have to establish, while she was making a left-hand turn to enter a supermarket car park, she collided with a 39-year-old Spanish citizen, who was riding his bicycle and passing a line of stationary vehicles on the right. The collision took place against the right side of the car.

“Officers from the Cantonal Police and in support from the Lugano Police Force, as well as rescuers from the Lugano Green Cross, arrived on the scene and, after giving the cyclist initial treatment, took him by ambulance to hospital.”

Alonso’s highly-anticipated return follows two seasons dabbling in other motor racing categories. He became a two-time World Endurance Champion with Toyota, which included victory at the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2018.

His quest to become only the second driver to win the Triple Crown — victories at the Monaco Grand Prix, Le Mans and Indy 500 — has been put on hold. Alonso entered the Indy 500 in 2017 and 2020, and failed to qualify in 2019, but will not be competing in the event while he is contracted to Alpine’s F1 operation.

The F1 season starts with the Bahrain Grand Prix on March 28, two weeks after the three-day preseason test at the same venue.