After a road accident, while cycling last February, Fernando Alonso had surgery to remove the titanium plates that had been fitted to his jaw.

The 40-year-old Alpine driver said he had the operation last week during the weekend’s virtual Le Mans 24 Hours race.

The Spaniard recently stated that he needs to prepare better for the new season than he did in 2021, when he returned after a two-year absence. In the virtual endurance event, Alonso, a two-time Le Mans winner with Toyota, was the non-driving captain of the Alpine esports team.

Max Verstappen, the reigning Formula One world champion, competed, but crashed after seven hours while leading in his Team Redline entry.

The Realteam Hydrogen Redline team, which included Brazilian Formula Two racer Felipe Drugovich and British Formula E driver Oliver Rowland, as well as esports professionals Jeffrey Rietveld and Michal Smidl, won the virtual race.

It was streamed live on YouTube, Twitch, and Facebook, with racers competing on simulators all over the world using the rFactor2 platform.