In August 2018, then McLaren driver, Fernando Alonso announced that he “ was leaving “Formula 1 without using the word” retirement ” A reserve which now takes on its full meaning. After two years of absence, the Spanish driver will indeed find F1 in the Renault team ” from the 2021 season “, Announced the French team in a press release Wednesday July 8.
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The duration of Alonso’s contract, which will be 39 years old on July 29, is not specified. For his third passage within the tricolor formation (after 2003-2006 then 2008-2009), it is only indicated that he “ joins Renault DP World F1 Team for the coming seasons ” Returning to where he won his two world champion titles in 2005 and 2006, the Spaniard proves that the sacred fire is still burning within him.
? Fernando Alonso joins Renault DP World F1 Team ?
Renault DP World F1 Team is pleased to confirm Fernando Alonso alongside Esteban Ocon in its driver line-up for the 2021 season.
— Renault F1 Team (@RenaultF1Team) July 8, 2020
His inglorious withdrawal from Formula 1 in late 2018 after a series of disastrous campaigns at McLaren did not taste like an epilogue. After having followed the 24 hours of Le Mans, the Dakar, the Indianapolis 500 Miles, the Iberian still displays its keen love for motor racing and its desire to return to F1. But still he had to find a steering wheel.
“A bold mutual choice”
Announced at Red Bull then at Ferrari, it will finally be welcomed by Renault next year for a very media reunion. ” The strength of the bond between him, the team and the fans makes it a natural choice, explains his future boss, Cyril Abiteboul. Beyond past successes, it is a daring mutual choice as well as a project to write the future. It will also bring to our team which has grown very quickly (since returning to F1 in 2016, editor’s note) a culture of racing and winning to overcome obstacles together. »
With the Australian Daniel Ricciardo leaving for McLaren, the diamond team was looking for an experienced driver to support the young French hope Esteban Ocon. For the native of Oviedo, Renault certainly does not offer as many chances of immediate success as Mercedes, Red Bull or Ferrari, but the manufacturer announced in May that he would stay in F1 in the long term with the aim of returning to the highest step of the podium.
« Renault is my family, these are my best memories in Formula 1 with my two world champion titles, but I’m looking forward, comments Alonso. I have convictions and ambitions in line with the stable project. Their progress this winter gives credibility to the objectives of the 2022 season, and for my part, I will bring all my racing experience to share it with everyone, engineers, mechanics, teammates. The team wants and has the means to find the podiums, too. »
With 17 victories stamped Renault between 2003 and 2008 and the titles of world champion 2005 and 2006, the former Ferrari driver (2010-2014) knows that the French brand is capable of it, especially with a new financial regulation for F1 in 2021 , which could level the spreads. Renowned for his sometimes shady character, Alonso is considered one of the best pilots of his generation, who could have won far more than two titles.