Formula 1: Former champ Fernando Alonso undergoes jaw surgery after cycling accident

Alonso (above) was hit by a car near his home in Lugano, Switzerland, while cycling.
Alonso (above) was hit by a car near his home in Lugano, Switzerland, while cycling.PHOTO: USA TODAY SPORTS

PARIS (AFP) - Former Formula One champion Fernando Alonso has undergone surgery on a jaw fracture after he was involved in a road accident while cycling in Switzerland, his team Alpine announced on Friday (Feb 12).

According to the Italian daily Gazzetta dello Sport and the BBC, veteran racer Alonso was hit by a car near his home in Lugano in Switzerland, near the Italian border.

In a statement, Alpine said "the attending medical team are satisfied with his progress" after Alonso's operation and the 39-year-old would remain in hospital under observation "for a further 48 hours".

Alonso, who won the F1 championship with Renault in 2005 and 2006, is set to make his return to motorsport's elite level at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix on March 28, after last racing in the sport three years ago.

Testing for the new season is taking place in Bahrain from March 12-14, and Alpine said Alonso was expected to take part.

"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," the statement continued.

Alonso joined Alpine, re-branded from Renault F1 by the French manufacturer for the coming campaign, after competing in the Indianapolis 500 and 24 Hours of Le Mans races as well as the Dakar Rally.

Frenchman Esteban Ocon, whose only F1 podium came at Sakhir last December, is Alonso's new team-mate at Alpine.

Alonso is set to be the second-oldest member of the F1 paddock this term, behind Alfa-Romeo's 41-year-old Finnish driver Kimi Raikonnen.

The Spaniard completed a number of tests in the closing months of 2020 to prepare for his F1 comeback, making his full official testing return at the end-of-season session in Abu Dhabi in December.