Fernando Alonso returns to Formula 1 with Renault

The Asturian and the French team resume a relationship that generated two World Championships
Fernando Alonso, during a press conference at King Abdullah's Sports City in Saudi Arabia

REUTERS/HAMAD I MOHAMMED  -   Fernando Alonso, during a press conference at King Abdullah's Sports City in Saudi Arabia

After many laps, vicissitudes and even changes in engine discipline, Fernando Alonso returns to his happy Formula 1 origins with the Renault team, with which he managed to win two World Championships in 2005 and 2006.

The Spanish driver returns with 39 years in what is a great challenge since currently the Renault is not one of the leading cars in the competition, although Fernando Alonso has a taste for great challenges, something that has been amply demonstrated throughout his career. After starting his career in Formula 1 with Minardi he moved to Renault, where he won his double world title. After this success he tried his luck in McLaren and Ferrari, two leading teams in which he had no luck and in which he started his competitive decline, which led him to change even the sport in the motor world. 

After his departure from F1, the Asturian set himself the challenge of racing in endurance tests, such as the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and cross-country raids; even competing in the toughest race in the world: the Dakar Rally. An experience (together with Toyota) that greatly enriched the Spanish athlete.

Renault has not specified the exact duration of the contract, although it has reported that it will drive its car for "the next few seasons" to replace Daniel Ricciardo. The Asturian has sealed a multi-year contract for 2021 and 2022 with an option for a third season in 2023, according to the newspaper AS. "It will be an asset to win the title again and commits Renault to the highest level of motoring," said a team that will be looking for ambitious goals together with Alonso.

A few moments ago the French company issued an official statement announcing the signing of the Asturian driver to return to the Formula 1 circus: "The Renault DP World F1 Team is pleased to confirm Fernando Alonso with Esteban Ocon in its driver line-up for the 2021 season".

"With 314 Grand Prix races, 32 victories and 97 podiums, Fernando joins the Renault DP World F1 Team for the coming seasons. Given the strong historical and emotional bond between the team and Fernando Alonso (Renault and Fernando won their two World Championship titles together in 2005 and 2006), this decision is bold and significant for the future", said the French team.

Fotografía de archivo, Fernando Alonso tras ganar el Gran Premio de San Marino con Renault, en el circuito de Imola, en Italia, el 24 de abril de 2005
REUTERS/GIAMPERO SPOSITO - Archive photograph, Fernando Alonso after winning the San Marino Grand Prix with Renault, at the Imola circuit in Italy on April 24, 2005

"Renault, with its values, is one of the best brands in Formula 1. Fernando is a great driver who returns to F1 enriched by other experiences and willing to build with his beloved team. The principles of work, self-improvement and ingenuity, as well as Fernando's DNA defined by tenacity and pure talent, make this union obvious. He will be an asset in the many efforts to regain the title and will give meaning to Renault's commitment to the highest level of motor sport. The desire is to form a team around two complementary drivers, combining experience and youth, and uniting their values and talent in the service of the project. Fernando's fighting spirit should benefit the whole team and allow everyone to achieve their goals," explained the Spanish driver's new team.

For his part, Cyril Abiteboul, Managing Director of Renault Sport Racing, wanted to highlight the new addition of the Asturian: "Fernando Alonso's signature is part of the Renault Group's plan to continue its commitment to F1 and return to the top. His presence in our team is a formidable asset on a sporting level, but also for the brand to which he is very attached. The strength of the bond between him, the team and the fans makes him a natural choice. In addition to past successes, it is a bold mutual choice as well as a project for the future. His experience and determination will allow us to bring out the best in us to lead the team towards the excellence that modern Formula 1 demands. He will also bring to our rapidly growing team a culture of racing and winning to overcome obstacles together.

El piloto de Renault Esteban Ocon, de Francia, conduce su coche durante la primera sesión de prácticas en el circuito Red Bull Ring en Spielberg, Austria, el viernes 3 de julio de 2020
AP/DARKO BANDIC - Renault driver Esteban Ocon from France drives his car during the first practice session at the Red Bull Ring circuit in Spielberg, Austria, on Friday, July 3, 2020

Meanwhile, Alonso feels he is coming home: "Renault is my family, along with my best memories in Formula 1 with my two World Championship titles. Although the Asturian now looks to the future. "It is a great source of pride and, with immense emotion, I return to the team that gave me the opportunity at the beginning of my career and now gives me the chance to return to the highest level. I have principles and ambitions in line with the team's project. Your progress this winter gives credibility to the goals for the 2022 season and I will share all my racing experience with everyone, from the engineers to the mechanics and my teammates. The team wants and has the means to return to the podium, just like me", said the Asturian driver.