Former Formula 1 world champion Fernando Alonso's debut season in the Dakar Rally has not been a smooth one. The two-time champion, who is driving a Toyota, is currently lying on the 14th position in the ongoing event in Saudi Arabia. Before the start of the event, Fernando Alonso had said that he wasn't expecting to win in the Dakar Rally all the time.
Not a smooth start of the stage for @alo_oficial!— DAKAR RALLY (@dakar) January 15, 2020
He dropped over 1h with an early crash and resumed driving without a windshield!
Live race updates ➡ https://t.co/qTNrMHIKg1#Dakar2020 pic.twitter.com/zZFh6gvbq5
Fernando Alonso suffered a scare in Stage 10 of the Dakar Rally after rolling his car. The accident happened just 2 kilometres into the 534 km stage. Alonso approached a sand dune at an awkward angle, launching his Toyota Hilux into the air, causing it to roll twice before coming to a stop on the flat. While neither Alonso nor his co-driver Marc Coma was hurt, the damage caused to the car cost the pair 68 minutes in lost time. The pair had to knock out the car's windscreen before continuing the stage.
The 2020 Dakar rally is being held in Saudi Arabia for the first time. The rally had been held in Europe and Africa from 1979 to 2007. However, after the cancelled 2008 rally following security concerns, it moved to South America in 2009 and continued till 2019.
Fernando Alonso bid goodbye to Formula 1 in 2018 after having won the F1 championship with Renault in 2005 and 2006. The 38-year-old Spaniard has also crowned the champion of the 2018–19 FIA World Endurance Championship. He is also a two-time winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2018 and 2019 with Toyota.