Double champion Fernando Alonso to make F1 comeback with Renault next season

Alonso will replace Daniel Ricciardo at Renault after the Australian signed a deal earlier this year to move to McLaren for 2021. Alonso has signed a two year deal and will partner Esteban Ocon.

FP Sports July 08, 2020 17:06:51 IST
Double champion Fernando Alonso to make F1 comeback with Renault next season

Double world champion Fernando Alonso will make a Formula One comeback with Renault, the team he won his titles with, in 2021 after two years out of the sport, the French team announced on Wednesday.

The Spaniard, also a double Le Mans 24 Hours winner who turns 39 in July, won his championships in 2005 and 2006 and most recently raced for McLaren in the 2018 season.

Alonso will replace Daniel Ricciardo at Renault after the Australian signed a deal earlier this year to move to McLaren for 2021. Alonso has signed a two year deal and will partner Esteban Ocon.

"Renault is my family, my fondest memories in Formula One with my two world championship titles, but I'm now looking ahead," Alonso said. "It's a great source of pride and with an immense emotion I'm returning to the team that gave me my chance at the start of my career and which now gives me the opportunity to return to the highest level.

"I have principles and ambitions in line with the team's project. Their progress this winter gives credibility to the objectives for the 2022 season and I will share all my racing experience with everyone from the engineers to the mechanics and my team-mates. The team wants and has the means to get back on the podium, as do I."

Renault team principal Cyril Abiteboul added: "The signing of Fernando Alonso is part of Groupe Renault's plan to continue its commitment to F1 and to return to the top of the field. His presence in our team is a formidable asset on the 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 make 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 enable us to get the best out of each other to take the team towards the excellence that modern Formula One demands.

"He will also bring to our team, which has grown very fast, a culture of racing and winning to overcome hurdles together. Alongside Esteban, his mission will be to help Renault DP World F1 Team prepare for the 2022 season in the best possible conditions."

Since moving on from F1 in 2018, raced in IndyCar, the World Endurance Championship and at the Dakar Rally, winning twice at the Le Mans 24 Hours.

The Spaniard's Formula 1 career trajectory saw him join McLaren from Renault at the end of 2006, only to return in 2008. He then joined Ferrari at the start of the 2010 season and came agonisingly close to winning the championship in the same year and 2012.

Alonso's last career win, of 32, came at the 2013 European Grand Prix with Ferrari before an unsuccessful switch to McLaren in 2015.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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