FEBRUARY 9, 2017
Alonso back in title-winning shape says trainer
Fernando Alonso is back in the kind of physical shape that won him back-to-back world championships more than a decade ago.
That is the claim of the Spanish sports daily AS, quoting the popular McLaren-Honda driver's trainer Edoardo Bendinelli.
After a period of winter silence, 35-year-old Alonso burst back into life on social media this week, saying the month had been "very intense" with "physical work".
Like his 2017 F1 rivals, Alonso has undoubtedly been training hard for the much faster cars this year.
"I can say that Fernando is in his best shape, stronger and more motivated than ever," said Bendinelli.
"Fernando's aerobic work in these past years has been good, but now there is more fitness, more weight, more strength needed," he added.
Perhaps the most obvious sign of Alonso's greater strength in 2017 will be his famously thick neck, Bendinelli said.
He said Alonso's neck now measures "45 centimetres" -- about 10cm more than an average man.
"It's similar to a middle weight boxer," said Bendinelli.
As for whether Alonso is showing any lingering signs of the injuries he sustained in Melbourne a year ago, Bendinelli insisted: "No, absolutely nothing.
"It was significant with his lung, but it is perfect now," he added.