RACE DEBRIEF

    Fernando Alonso will not travel to Alpine's Enstone base in the UK for the launch of their 2021 car next week, the team have confirmed – though it's understood he will still play a part in the event.

    The Spaniard, who is returning to Formula 1 after two years out of the series, was hospitalised earlier this month after a cycling accident in Switzerland, in which he broke his jaw after colliding with a car.

    He was discharged from hospital just four days later after surgery on his jaw, while his team insisted he would recover in time for the start of the new season.

    READ MORE: Alonso discharged from hospital to continue recovery from cycling accident

    Alpine are launching their car – the A521 – on Tuesday, as the team undergoes a rebrand from the Renault name they have competed as for the last five years.

    But on Friday afternoon the team said Alonso would not be physically attending the media part of the event, as he continues his preparations for the new season in Switzerland, but it is believed he will play some part in the launch remotely.

    In a statement the team said: "We regret to confirm that Fernando Alonso will not be present for the media Q&A on this occasion.

    "The sanitary situation and corresponding regulations in place do not allow him to do any communications and marketing activities while he undertakes his critical season preparation.

    "We will instead publish a Q&A with Fernando for media use and he will be available for media in Bahrain for official pre-season testing."

    In Alonso's absence, his team mate Esteban Ocon will face the press, along with Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi, the team's executive director Marcin Budkowski, and newly appointed racing director Davide Brivio, who joined from Suzuki's MotoGP outfit in January.

    READ MORE: Alpine announce ex-Suzuki MotoGP chief Davide Brivio as new Racing Director