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Alonso joins list of returning champions – who thrived, who dived?

Fernando Alonso will return to Formula 1 in 2021 with the rebranded Alpine F1 Team. It marks a comeback for the 39-year-old after a two-year absence from the grid but he is far from the first World Champion to put on his F1 kit once more after an initial departure. MotorsportWeek.com looks at how other World Champion comebacks panned out. Niki Lauda (31 races missed) Lauda claimed two titles with Ferrari in 1975 and 1977, either side of his near-fatal accident at the Nurburgring, but a race-winning 1978 campaign with Brabham was followed by a dismal 1979. A disillusioned Lauda quit before the end of the season to concentrate on his burgeoning airline business but was tempted back for 1982...
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