Fernando Alonso, Toyota, Dakar Rally, 2020

Renault expected to announce Alonso’s return for 2021 season

2021 F1 season

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Fernando Alonso is expected to make his comeback to Formula 1 with Renault in 2021.

RaceFans understands the team could announce the two-times world champion’s return as early as tomorrow. It will be his third spell with the team, having driven for them between 2003 and 2006 and again from 2008 to 2009.

Alonso retired from F1 at the end of 2018. He will return in place of Daniel Ricciardo, who is leaving Renault to join McLaren next season, and partner Esteban Ocon at the team.

The 38-year-old enjoyed the most successful period of his F1 career with Renault. He first raced for the team in 2003 and two years later scored his first of two back-to-back championship titles with the team. He had won 15 races for them by the time he left to join McLaren at the end of 2006.

His first spell at McLaren ended in an acrimonious split after just one season, following which Alonso returned to Renault in 2008. He won twice more – albeit in controversial circumstances in Singapore – before leaving again to join Ferrari.

Despite coming close to winning the title on two occasions with Ferrari, after which he returned to McLaren for four more seasons, Alonso is still seeking a third F1 title. He has recently branched into other series in pursuit of the ‘Triple Crown’ of the Monaco Grand Prix, which he has won twice, Le Mans 24 Hours, which he has won in the past two years, and Indianapolis 500, which he led on his debut in 2017 before retiring.

Alonso’s last F1 appearance was at the wheel of a McLaren-Renault in a test session at the Bahrain International Circuit last year.

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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148 comments on “Renault expected to announce Alonso’s return for 2021 season”

  1. As an Alonso fan, no please no.

    1. Maybe to see if Renault will be competitive in 2022?

      1. Probably also given the budget cap and development freeze banking on top-3 dont pull ahead even more.

    2. As never a fan – also please no!

    3. why? I don’t even care if he wins – just great to have him back

      1. Politically he can probably do least damage at Renault, apart from GP2, GP2!

        1. Ahaha, indeed, gp2 engine, gp2 chassis! And he would be right!

    4. I’m happy. I think he’s one of the greatest and he’s still performing well. Not having him in F1 was weird. It’s sad he put himself in a position in which a competitive car isn’t on the cards, but not seeing him push a car to the limits and beyond was a shame, frankly.

      1. Absolutely! But I hope that at least this time he’s in the right car at the right time.

    5. I give it three races before we get more top tier radio rants about the uncompetitive machinery.

      1. 2 races…

        And a split and diveded team on top of that.

    6. Fear not its probably just a yoke. A yoke i tell you

    7. I agree.

      Just to see him in an F1 car adds a lot to the sport, but seeing him fighting for scraps in poor machinery is just a waste of talent, time and expectations.

  2. Hope he is still competitive and Renault produces a Top 3 car soon.

    1. I see that it appears to be a two year deal. I don’t understand Renault’s intentions with him because 2021 will be using this year’s chassis, and Mercedes and Red Bull will be most likely occupying the top 4 spots. Do they want to give him one year for “warm up”, and then challenge in 2022? When the regulations change?

      He better beat Ocon by the same margin he beat Vandoorne.

      1. What a misjudgement agasin by Abiteboul. Alonso is not going to give a … about Renault nor Ocon. Toxicity is what they’ll get. No other team than Renault would do this, not even Ferrari

    2. I think it’s 3 years through 2023

  3. No, please no. Such a good vibes with F1 finally back on and racing has been excellent so far. This would totally kill the positive flow.

    1. What the hell are you talking about?

      1. @carbon_fibre he seems to have a grudge against Alonso because Alonso managed to beat Kimi when they were paired together at Ferrari, and that poster is a particularly hardcore Kimi fan.

      2. He talks about Alonso. The biggest whiner and complainer in the sport.

        1. @jens And which sport does Grosjean participate in?

          1. Gavin Campbell
            8th July 2020, 9:29

            Ahahaha top comment *claps*

            As much as I have a soft spot for Gross jean, he don’t half go on a bit. Half the time I feel his engineer is about to shout back “Well if you think you can do a better job designing one of these things”.

    2. Are you serious alonso is one of the best drivers of all time. The guy dominated kimi as teammates and deserves a seat, especially since you have drivers like grosjean and stroll in f1

  4. Why? Why a Renault ?

    No no please I can’t wait for the deckchairs.

    1. Alonso and Abiteboul. If there comes a result out of that co-operation it will be the most incredible thing I have ever seen. Two absolute nutters in one team. Top entertainment. Liberty must be loving this.

  5. There’s so much talent within the Renault young driver program, in 2021 where the rules are frozen why don’t they promote Guanyu Zhou? There’s a good chance he’ll get a super license this year, stick him in some fp1’s and you basically have a free rookie year for him.

    1. Because Guanyu Zhou is still too green and needs a bit more time fine tuning his racing skills based on watching his F2 racing. Yes, he has been showing very good potential but definitely is one of the most position erratic drivers in the front group; its not very bankable at the moment. He really needs to improve on that before they’ll let him race in a F1 car. After him, there’s really not much following him in terms of being hot F1 potential when looking at it for the next three-four seasons.
      Ocon is still pretty much a rookie after being put to pasture needing to first prove his abilities, He’s never seen a podium and can not be considered a team leader driver for a manufactures F1 team. They have a huge gap to fill next year and had to act fast and sign someone up, Vettel was never going to do it. Guanyu Zhou & Ocon is not a good pairing right now.

      Now they just have to remove Cyril Abiteboul. Can you imagine those in the paddock conversing when things don’t go well. Only one prima-donna at a time please.

      1. I always got the impression that Ocon was beating Checo, who kept his seat for two commercial reasons.

        1. Impression were misleading in this case, Checo is a old cunning fox which pays off in the end. Ocon was too green and too aggressive against his teammate and we all know what that does.

  6. Well BBC reported it an hour ago, it’s official.

    1. as a rumour!

      Official announcements tend to come from the parties involved.

      1. Thanks for putting me straight. Tell me again where I said they announced it?

        1. @johnnik – You directly implied that with the wording ”it’s official.”
          @coldfly – Indeed.

        2. Tell me again where I said they announced it?

          I did not ‘tell you’ the first time, and see no reason to tell you again. :P

          However, I did take from your comment that you assumed it was announced by the BBC, and as you’re thanking me I take it that I was correct.
          But maybe your sarcasm is even more obscure than mine.

  7. Only my opinion, but to me, F1 should be about young, driven, hungry talent.

    Imagine McLaren bringing Mika out of retirement in 2007… we’d have been denied the emergence of Lewis Hamilton.

    Alonso’s return ends the dream for someone in GP2 with the talent and ambition to drive that team forward. He has been a great champion, one of the best of all time in pure driving brilliance, but his time has passed, and life moves on.

    1. Couldn’t agree more. There’s a lot of talented dudes in F2, id rather see them in the car than a guy out of his prime in a sub standard car

    2. Well said!

      This just showes the problem with the 20-car grid. Even if the Alonso-Renault move made some sense and marketingwise it does, it’s a shame we don’t have 2-3 more teams even as backmackers, so that young talented drivers get a shot until a bigger team picks them. Manor/Marussia gave Bianchi & Ocon their first chances as did HRT for Ricciardo. Even if these teams were mostly filled with pay or “way experienced” drivers like Petrov or Trulli, at least those drivers didn’t fill a seat at a bigger team, like Stroll or Ericsson do/did in the recent history…

      1. couldn’t care less – one less anodyne and robotic sim racer – Alonso is an all time great. Chill out

        1. Nelson Piquet is an all time great, but i wouldn’t want him to get the second Ferrari seat instead of Sainz.

          one less anodyne and robotic sim racer

          Yeah…these kids Leclerc, Verstappen, Albon, Norris, Sainz, Russell are so boring! Everyone agress they should just move to sim racing full time. F1 is doomed with them…

      2. Well, the problem is, even when we had those extra two or three teams, they filled up their cars with three categories of drivers: 1) Experienced midfielder who had no future in a better team (Glock, Kovalainen, Trulli), 2) Driver who was compensating for the poor financing of the given team (Bruno Senna, Karthikeyan, Merhi, Chilton etc.), and 3) Really talented guys, as you’ve already mentioned. These teams are often so underfinanced that you cannot expect them to nurture all the young talent that is here. I don’t expect any change until say 2026 or 2027 when the rules will be finally stabilized, new powertrains will hopefully make the things more simpy and the budget cap will yield its fruits. Let’s rather hope we won’t lose two or three of the current teams in the meantime.

        1. @pironitheprovocateur I’m not saying that if we had teams like Manor, Caterham or HRT right now they would fill their cars with talented young drivers every year. But every once in a while, a big team wanted to give a shot to a young driver of their academy and these teams made that possible. And we’re talking for the last, dark ‘Bernie’ years, only one of these 3 teams could finish 10th just so they can get a very small slice of the prize money, the other two got nothing. However imagine if we got the salary cap and the prize money sorted, what teams like Manor could do in the near future hopefully…

          Ferrari could easily give Mick Schumacher a chance there and leave Sauber free to hire 2 drivers of their choosing instead of one plus a Ferrari-bound driver, Renault could hire Alonso for the big team and also give a shot to a young driver they have invested in one of the backmakers. Even some older drivers could have a second shot, Hulkenberg could drive for a year at one of those teams and see if another better offers him a drive next year, Sirotkin could have a second chance…

          Let’s rather hope we won’t lose two or three of the current teams in the meantime.

          Sad, but true at the moment. We can only hope the situation changes for the better.

    3. StephenH, you say that, but would a hypothetical Alonso return actually make a material difference to the odds of a Formula 2 driver to enter F1 via Renault? Realistically, I don’t think that it does actually make that much difference given how most drivers are now bound to young driver training programmes organised by different teams.

      If you look at the list of drivers who have gone from GP2 or Formula 2 into Formula 1, you have George Russell (2018), Charles Leclerc (2017), Pierre Gasly (2016) and Stoffel Vandoorne (2015) were all part of a young driver programme.

      Going further back, you have Hamilton and Rosberg as drivers who were also supported by a team (Rosberg was being supported by Williams in his 2005 campaign), whilst Grosjean was an ex-Renault junior driver when he won his title (he’d left Renault in 2009, but had been supported by them from 2006-2009) and Hulkenberg was employed by Williams when he won his title (he’d been their test driver since 2007).

      You could argue that there have basically only been two independent drivers who won the GP2 title and then went on into F1 – Maldonado (2010) and Palmer (2014).

      If Renault were to want to promote anybody from Formula 2, it would be Zhou – because Zhou is part of their driver academy. That is the real issue here – it’s not that Alonso is denying a driver from a junior series, it’s that most drivers are now so tightly yoked to a junior team programme that they are basically bound to enter F1 for that team only.

    4. Definitely agree.

    5. So you think Hamilton should pack it in?

      1. Yes PLEASE

    6. Hmmm….that looks remarkably like a verbatim copy of a Jake Humphries tweet (posted today at 16:50 GMT).

    7. Kind of agree, but we seem to forget , F1 is a manufacturers championship (Best car wins – almost every time), they are looking for drivers that can help them with that goal.
      Drivers championship is secondary and consequential. If it was a drivers championship they would all be in matching cars.

  8. *facepalm*

    Why?!?!
    There are literally dozens out their who will be better, will not moan constantly, and actually be a positive force in a Team…

    1. @dallein Such as who? Zhou? Not good enough yet and not enough experience. Hulkenberg? Decent driver but not on Alonso’s level. Who are these dozens that you speak of? Say what you will, nobody will get more out of that car than Alonso. Right now, Renault just needs to finish 4th in the constructors.

    2. Absolutely. They already have a toxic dude in Abiteboul. If you add an Alonso to that…. my oh my.. this team is the epiphanie of failure. Can’t wait to see Abitebouls face get more and more defensive, mad and arrogant at the same time.

      1. and I haven’t even mentioned Ocon in this mix hahahaha. Her ticks all the boxes too

  9. Am i in the minority that’s not excited about this. A guy out of his prime in a midfield car isn’t what I really want to see. Id rather see a talented up and comer take that seat

    1. Alonso is still in his prime, that’s why he’s so good.

      1. @carbon_fibre Agree 100% Looking forward to how he drives the socks off the Renault.

        1. agreed is it not about have the best drivers on the Grid no matter what the age or History

          1. That’s the spirit!
            Like him or loathe him, few will argue he doesn’t belong to the 20 best.

          2. I’m stoked over this news. I think this is great for F1, he’s a great driver, and a great character, and it is going to be great to see him in a 2022 driver-vs-driver F1. I don’t think any of us have any illusions about how much work Renault has ahead of them, so obviously he is going into this eyes wide open, and I think we’ll see some super exciting races from him in a 2022 car that I predict will see him with some podiums even in a 5th/6th place car. As for next year, he’ll be handcuffed by the car. But 2022? Yeah can’t wait to see him then. Even in a mid car. I think he’s going to have a blast and that will translate to some fun times to come. Really stoked about the sign this shows of Renault’s commitment level too.

  10. Is that you, Jake?

    1. Meant to be a reply to StephenH…

  11. So that’s goodbye Seb, or at a push Hamilton?

    1. Hopefully Hamilton, would give some hope to the rest to know a dominant Merc could spin randomly at anytime.

  12. F1 deserves to have the best drivers.
    Alonso is (was in 2018) still one of them.

    1. @coldfly Well he once was, but if he comes back and gets beaten by Ocon and the rest of the young generation we now have, it wouldn’t make his (and Renault’s) insistence to bring him back and deprive that seat from a young talented driver, seem like a great decision for both of them.

      1. if

        Indeed!
        @black

        1. @coldfly
          Maybe Alonso comes back and Renault actually do the unthinkable and deliver a championship-winning car and Alonso finally wins his 3rd WDC and retires gracefully after.
          Aaand maybe they don’t and Alonso is again stuck in the midfield. By the time he comes back he’ll be 39-40 years old, if he’s still at his prime and doesn’t nag about what he “deserves”, i would be stunned.

          Hamilton & Vettel, the drivers that battled with Alonso back in the day, they are 35 & 33 years old and they are on the verge of retirement from F1. Kimi is 40 but at this point he’s just driving for fun’s sake.
          Most “championship-contender” teams, or even the “podium-aspiring” ones, have pretty much shifted their line ups for young drivers with lots of potential. Mercedes will eventually promote Russell along a decent-aged Bottas ?, Ferrari have gone with Leclerc & Sainz, Red Bull with Verstappen & Albon, McLaren with Norris & Ricciardo. If Renault want to challenge for wins and championships, bringing a has-been with a lot of baggage and a heavy paycheck to satisfy seems quite unorthodox to say the least..

          1. I was only talking about the best drivers.
            My expectations of an Abiteboul led Renault are not very high.

          2. @black Think about it this way: if Renault doesn’t provide results in the next two seasons, the parent company could pull the plug on the F1 project. And if you want short-term results, you hire Fernando Alonso. The alternatives are realistically Hulkenberg, Vettel and Zhou. None of whom are as good as Alonso.

          3. @mashiat If Renault see it this way “two years and we’re out”, then Renault has a big problem with their philosophy. Because since they joined, their intentions were to build a good car for the 2021 (now 2022) regs and with the addition of budget cap, the prize money sorted and the simpler (more spec) cars, to give them the opportunity to be competitive every year, even if they got it wrong the first time.

            As for drivers, setting aside all the baggage Alonso brings to a team, seriously what has he done in the last few years apart for constantly hyping himself up? His last win was in 2013, last poidum in 2014, he was driving around in a uncompetitive McLaren praising just himself that he’s a “god” that salvaged 7th place, when other midfield drivers did the same and they didn’t praise themselves half that much as Alonso. He left McLaren and made us think that without him McLaren are going to wander around the midfield especially with “inferior” drivers to him like Sainz and Norris…and McLaren since then are the most competitive (and healthy) they have bee since 2012!

            None of whom are as good as Alonso
            Alonso is 40. How many years are we going to still hear that “Alonso is always the best no matter his age”…? I fear that he’ll still be 45-50 years old and he’ll still hype himself. Schumacher was good, more than good in fact, he left and returned in his 40s and just when everyone expected to challenge again for the WDC, he lost 3 consecutive seasons to a young Rosberg.
            Hylkenberg and Vettel are out of the question, Zhou is an intresting option, as is poaching Bottas from Mercedes or giving Russell a 2-year deal as a loan from Mercedes if they can’t promote him soon. They cost less, they are way more relevant to F1, they have higher potential and they won’t turn the whole team to a “cult of praising Alonso’s achivements”.

      2. @black
        I think it is quite the opposite (my opinion), Ocon will probably get Vandoorned by Alonso

        1. @tifoso1989 Totally.
          (‘Vandoorned’ hehe. So it’s a verb now)

          1. Translated Vandoorn means From Thorn (Or bush) so yes, Ocon will probably get Thorned by Alonso.

  13. Oh nooo, please! He is so much caught up with himself! Let the young drivers come in, give them the chance, Alonso had plenty, let him go to Indianapolis and make noise there.

  14. That’s the triple crown dream dead, then. Wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if this wasn’t heavily encouraged (and bankrolled) by Carey and co. With HAM, still the favourite this year, VET out of Ferrari, and a RAI being mysterious as ever, there’s a real possibility there’ll only be one champion on track next year. F1 probably thinks it needs a bit more star power.

  15. Manufacturer teams are in the sport for exposure and exposure alone. The technology transfer/road relevance is nil at this point. Alonso brings the attention and the $. It just so happens the guy can still perform at the highest level so its a win win.

  16. I hope Seb has something lined up. Maybe a sabbatical year then take over at Merc when Lewis retires

  17. So rather than prove he’s still got it, by competing in a series against another 40 year old driver still at the top of his game, he’d sooner chug around in a non competitive car and blame it for not being competitive ? …OK.

  18. That’s Ocon’s F1 career over then! 😜

    1. @sonnycrockett Is Esteban Ocon’s career over?

      1. If Alonso does to him what he did to Vandoorne then, yes!

      2. @jerejj clearly – Esteban Ocon has already announced he is retiring at the end of 2020, as it says in the other article. Ocon said he did not want to be paired with Alonso, and therefore triggered a clause in his contract with Renault that entitles him to a large retirement package, the full details of which have not been released.

        Ocon told reporters, via video conference,

        “I am very grateful to Renault for providing me with this opportunity. I wish Renault and Fernando all the best for their future together. In the meantime I am, of course, focusing on completing this season with Renault, and look forward to our remaining races together.”

    2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      7th July 2020, 17:56

      Man, your picture and username brought back some fond memories.

      I loved the intro to Miami Vice with the 2 Ferraris. That black Daytona Spyder and white TestaRossa were as iconic as the Lamborghini in Cannonball Run.

      1. You didn’t like Don’s Heartbeat? :)

        1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          7th July 2020, 19:28

          Lol, I just checked the video on youtube. Here’s the first comment:

          This Man had the 80s by the b*lls.

  19. Sergey Sirotkin would deserve that drive more in my view. He’s already in the team, so he’d be an easy pick.

    1. This (if it happens) also reduces Hulkenberg’s chances of returning to racing in F1 in the short-term.

      1. @jerejj I’m not sure why Sirotkin would deserve the seat more. He didn’t have a stellar junior record and he didn’t perform very well relative to Stroll, and for me, that’s enough to prove he’s not worthy of F1.

  20. Jockey Ewing
    7th July 2020, 17:31

    Even if Zhou dominates a whole season at F2? Because there is some chance to that. F2 field seems amazing now, the newcomers are as really good as expected, many of these guys will earn their promotion by merit. Imo this is not a good sign for Giovinazzi, although he still can turn out to be the Italian Grosjean (career length-wise). There are so many better drivers. Hopefully they won’t bring Briatore back too :P
    Poor Renault, they can’t build a better chassis than their supplied team McLaren for a 2nd season. They are one of the largest car manufacturers of the world, so basically within boundaries of common sense they have infinite resources. Ok, not achieving success happened to other big manufacturers too, but not beating their supplied team multiple seasons in a row in modern F1? Imo they are on par or lesser in 3years in a row. Or they can build an ok chassis, but they can’t understand their own equipment reliability-wise?
    Ok, I don’t mind as I like McLaren, Lando, and Sainz too, but I like Ricciardo too, and this reliability is trying my patience.

  21. – To be or not to be is the question.

    Upon returning to F1, he returns as a double world champion, one of the best of his generation;
    They have a dimension that adds importance to the F1 championship;
    Guaranteed show, within the show itself;

    On the other hand, on his return, he eliminates the possibility of a new driver entering F1;
    If things don’t go well, it’s in his blood mass, it spreads toxicity.

    One thing is guaranteed, with the return confirmed, it is too big for things to remain indifferent …

  22. I don’t see what Alonso stands to gain from this. If it’s as simple as him missing driving f1 cars then fair enough but he has said time and time again that he wants to fight for the title. He was at least winning with ferrari when he left and in reality Renault is a P8, P9 kind of car.

    1. Cash
      Fun
      Adrenaline
      Ego

      1. Be fit for 2022

  23. Can he still fit in a F1 Car ?

    1. obviously I haven’t seen him up close but he still seems really fit seeing recent inverviews and videos. probably as fit as Schumacher back in ’10

    2. Last picture I’ve seen he was maybe too thin

    3. He’s like yea high, no?

  24. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    7th July 2020, 17:52

    GP2 Chassis!

  25. geoff Kennedy
    7th July 2020, 17:59

    Pity for the young drivers waiting for their chance. Alonso was good and had his time. Make way for the new generation!

  26. Toxic racer to toxic team? I was super happy when Hulk joined them but the way they handled him and the way Cyril operating the team… It’s a match now with Alonso…

    1. And he also brings Briatore’s ghost with him

    2. With toxic teammate. It’s going to be fun.

  27. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    7th July 2020, 18:13

    Bad choice, and I don’t really get why. Renault are nowhere near the podium and don’t look like they will be for a while so why’s he coming back? To drive around in lower reaches of the top ten? If he wants to fight for a title this seems a strange choice.

    Hulkenberg, Sirotkin, Zhou, Magnussen – even Kubica would have been stronger and more interesting choices. Given Ocon/Perez’s little arguments I can’t see Alonso enjoying that environment either.

    1. Ambrogio Isgro
      7th July 2020, 21:40

      How Kubica, Magnussen or Sirotkin are a stringere or more interesting choices? Kubica was destroyed by Russell last year, Sirotkin is not F1 material as Stroll, Magnussen is going nowhere. Hulkenberg? Fast but not the fastest, not lucky and prone to mistakes when is the moment to deliver.
      So, it’s just about Zhou, the guy is fast but need to win the Championship. Maybe he will be ready for 2022 to learn from Alonso, when Ocon ends his contract.

      So for Vettel rest Aston Martin as the only option or Mercedes 2023 if Lewis retire.

  28. I was so happy when he retired. The constant hype around his sunday drives and he talking himself up was annoying. But somehow he left a void that wasn’t filled properly. Instead of funny meltdowns and narcissistic dramas we got more well-behaved youngsters and cringy Hamilton noise.

    1. Aaaaw cheer up man, what’s not to like about some (mostly self inflicted) drama.
      I’m expecting lots of popcorn moments… jay! :-D

  29. Best F1 news in ages as long as it’s not a 1-year deal.

  30. But he won’t be in the best car.
    But he can fight.

    And we’re going to hear about it ad naseum.

  31. Are there any success stories of drivers coming back to F1 after retirement?

    1. @emu55
      Lauda & Prost won their last titles after coming back from retirements.

      1. You are correct about Lauda but Prost hadn’t retired at that point, he had been fired by Ferrari and took a sabbatical.

    2. @emu55 @tifoso1989

      To be fair, Lauda and Prost was a long time ago. It’s hard to draw comparisons from that, other than that it shouldn’t be impossible to be very competitive after a few years away.

      It will indeed be interesting to see if Alonso has still got it next year. I’m one of those who truly believes that Alonso was one of the very best to ever drive a Formula 1 car, especially that magic (particulary first half of) 2012 when he really dragged his car to places it simply didn’t belong – back in the days when the field was close enough for that to be possible.

      A more recent comeback to compare with is that of Schumacher. Two great champions returning at a similar age. Schumacher was 41, Alonso will be 38 come Australia 2021. The big thing for me is that while Schumacher spent 3 years out of the sport, he was not doing any other somewhat similar top level motorsport (only racing motorbikes and getting injured). Alonso will only have been away for two years, but more importantly he’s been active racing in the WEC and IndyCar. Not too many races, so he’s still been able to recharge his batteries from his last frustrating stint in F1, but enough to stay on it.

      So Alonso is younger, has been away for shorter time, and he’s been more active racing other things during that time. Plus in my opinion was a better driver, looking purely at the driving perspective. So whilst there is a risk that his comeback will go the same way as Schumacher’s, I think chances are good that he will be more competitive than that. Good enough to beat or wipe the floor with Ocon? Depends on how good Ocon really is, but I don’t really see him as a potential world champion, after being beaten by Perez in the same car. Apparently, neither does Mercedes. So the team mate aspect should also be easier for Alonso compared to Schumacher with his 2010 team mate, future world champion Nico Rosberg. Good enough to win the world championship again? With the right car, it’s highly possible, although I’m not sure Renault will be able to produce it.

      Nevertheless, I’m certanly looking forward to see Fernando Alonso back in Formula 1, and I hope we’ll see him still at the top of his game.

      1. Correction, Alonso will be 39 in the start of 2021, not 38.

  32. The last Samurai of motorsport is finally back to its top class. Alonso who is a driver with a culture of the past, is a polarizing character in F1. Like him or not, he was always able to extract the maximum out of the car and more . He’s just different to most F1 drivers that were born in the Bernie Ecclestone era who look at other motorsport categories with a little haughtiness.
    Can’t wait to hear again his usual radio messages or post race interviews. Hope this time he will have a more reliable and fast car unlike his last experience in Mclaren. Welcome back Fernando !

  33. RocketTankski
    7th July 2020, 19:10

    If Lando can get a podium with a Renault -engined car then the Renault works team with Alonso driving should have no trouble at all, right?

    1. That brought a smile on mu face …. :)

  34. Net gain if Vettel leaves. I would favor Alonso over that has been any day.

    1. Jockey Ewing
      7th July 2020, 21:03

      2021 Championship final standings
      1. Kimi Raikkonen – Aston Martin 325 points
      2. Fernando Alonso – Renault 324.5 points
      3. Sebastian Vettel – Renault 324.5 points

      Details about the last grand prix:
      Kimi retired on lap 3 because he got torpedoed, anyway he not found the icecream in his car’s mini bar, and they left the steering wheel in the sun, so he had a mediocre day and quickly rode off into the sunset after that necessary press conference.
      Alonso and Vettel got overtaken on the last corner by a fiercely drifting Raghunathan on the outside so they lost a few points.

      Mr. Stroll: “You see Son, I told you we must sign him!”

  35. Shame that the best driver of his generation can only get a midfield car. Merc should pass on Hamilton and get Alonso in!

  36. This only underlines what kind of team Renault are. At least they won’t destroy the career of Zhou or Lundgaard.

  37. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    7th July 2020, 19:33

    There’s a lot of driver stability at Renault!

    It’s a miracle that Hulkenberg lasted 3 years there. That’s like driving for Ferrari for 10 years:-)

    That team could do with some new leadership.

  38. Welcome home Fernando :)

    1. @nullapax Sums it up for me. I like Alonso in Formula 1 and can’t be bothered to rationalize or justify it. Welcome back!

  39. for all we know, FA may just be the guy to show cyrill his place! may be the team needs a driver like FA!

    no question, FA has the capacity in the car! (whatever garbage he comes with). renault might just need this dose!

  40. And he’ll be doing the same thing that gave him reason to quit, driving near the back of the grid. Seems a waste of time other than padding his bank account. IndyCar would be a better option for a new challenge.

  41. I prefer Alonso over Vettel. Probably because I’m not a big fan of donuts, but do like good racing.

  42. Of course its a no brainer. 2 times WDC with a wealth of experience coming back to take a great marque back to the front of the grid. Fantastic decision.

    Alonso coming back! That’ll end in disaster for Renault. No question about it.

  43. I am quite happy to see this. I admit he might be taking the place of a younger driver but then there’s always something interesting happening when Alonso is in the race. I am not sure 2021 is going to be very encouraging for him but come 2022 who knows. It would be good to see Renault being competitive again.

    Interesting that Renault see a 39 year-old Alonso as a better option than a significantly younger Vettel. He might well be cheaper as well though. I doubt if money is his primary concern.

    1. Interesting that Renault see a 39 year-old Alonso as a better option than a significantly younger Vettel.

      It stands to reason that there were no discussions with Vettel, assuming Seb isn’t lying about not having had any talks yet. Plus, he’s been vocal about not wanting to just make up the numbers if he is to stay in F1 and Renault will not go past make up the numbers level any time soon.

    2. Vettel is useless, obviously they’d take a top driver over him even if he’s a little older.

  44. There are people that don’t know when it’s time to ‘exit stage left’… and don’t come back… SAD!

    1. And there are people who judge about others. I also don’t like the idea, because i want to see him win Indy, but if he wants to return to F1, i’d say do it. In the end he’s there because HE wants it. And he’d still be better than a bunch of ‘m. Next to that, if a team has faith in him, they won’t want him to exit stage. It’s his career and passion of the sport. I want him to go where he wants to.

  45. Given how dynamics between teams can’t easily change…and how Renault is doing. I don’t know why he would do it. Next to this, if he does it, i hope he can also do Indy 500. I want him to win that one more than him returning to F1. A third title (however unlikely) would be freaking great though. He would easily brake the record for gap between titles.

    His last win was in 2013, and 8 year gap (IF he wins a race) will a record, currently held by Ricardo patrese (6 and a bit year). Depending on how long it would take he could brake a record (held by Kimi) on how many races between victories. Probably if he doesn’t win one of the first few he’ll brake Kimi’s record when he wins.

  46. I for one am glad with these news. Formula 1 should be about the best drivers in the world, not just young promising drivers.

    That said, Renault is in a tricky position regarding their aspiring candidates. They don’t have a truly outstanding young driver (as good as Zhou and Lungaard might be) as were Leclerc, Russell, Norris or Verstappen.
    To make it worse, Renault does not have a B-Team where to send their young drivers to evaluate their performance in an F1 car and from there on decide whether they join the main team or not. Very few teams have dared to promote an F2 driver directly into the main team. Only Norris comes to mind now, and Hamilton back in 2007.

    Besides, Renault have fallen behind in terms of results, now being the 6th best team, and can’t really afford to keep throwing away points by trying out an inexperienced (Formula 1-wise) driver. Given that analysis, Alonso makes total sense, being a driver that has a proven record of outperforming the cars he’s driven.

    1. Absolutely!

  47. I think he’s just doing it because he misses F1 and enjoys racing… kinda how raikkonen now at Alfa Romeo.
    Probably has a clause to pursue other races too
    And I REALLY hope Renault can get it together and somehow someway make a championship worthy car

  48. It’s gonna hurt when thar Mercedes powered Mclaren drives past him like he’s not even pushing.

    I’m sure there are several million reasons why Alonso is returning to F1. He’ll no doubt make his and Renault’s swansong season in F1 full of politics.

  49. It’s amazing that Renault negotiates about Alonso through Flavio Briatore, Renaults nemesis. Have done so since November last year. Strange they never sued him.

  50. Alonso is a little old by now and combined with renault being what they are (they won’t get better) I don’t think he’s doing much, but it’s still good to have an old top driver in f1 a couple more years.

  51. Fantastic news! F1 desperately needed a big personality with the pending retirements of Vettel and Raikkonen.

    The young guys are great part lack a bit of personality (Leclerc, Albon, Ocon)

    Imagine Renault is competitive with the new 22 rules and Alonso is back fighting for wins! That would be incredible!

    I feel Alonso will be back mid season and there will be a big shake up!

  52. As a big fan of Alonso, I was dreading this day.

    I am happy to be proven wrong, but this can only end in one way, in tears. Having said this, in the iterim, there may be a few upshots for parties involved:

    Renault – “Re-signing” (highlights that the Renault of today is largely different to its 05/06 hey day) Alonso may be regarded as bit of coup for the team. It gives the venture a bit more credibility, adds to its profile a little, possible attract some sponsorship. I also feel that they may get a good deal here, Alonso will come cheaper than Ricciardo as he may choose to get remunerated in sponsorship space for Kimoa à la Mclaren 2019. Further to this, Alonso’s relentlessness will be the shot in the arm they need. The team has been a bit flat since the Ricciardo experiment failed. I also trust that there are a fair few senior members of Team Enstone who know Alonso well, and will know how to deal with his demands. Rest assured, their results will be maximised by Alonso, that one thing he does ever so well, a podium may not be a pipe dream to be honest.

    Alonso – I strongly feel that the man just misses racing in F1. He will be under illusions as to where Renault stand. I’m sure he’s been burned enough to know that their car in 2021 will be way off the pace. Perhaps 2022 may be better? With his sources in Team Enstone, perhaps he has an inside track? I doubt. I think he just want to be back in F1, and if teams are willing to hire you, why not? Why would Renault want Alonso if there are better options out there?

    Ocon – This is the real acid test for Ocon. If he beats Alonso, his star will shine brighter than ever. Put up a good fight and lose narrowly, he will be seen as fulfilling his potential. Get “Vandorne-ed” and that will be his F1 career finished. I believe Ocon will put up a good fight, he’s quite an aggressive character (unlike Vandorne) and has more experience. He will come out of this looking good, and perhaps having learned a fair bit from Alonso.

    Ultimately, Renault need a top line driver who can be on hand to “bring it home” when it matters at reasonable cost. I dont think there’s anyone who fits the bill thats out of a drive right now.

    F1 – If Vettel leaves, F1 is left with 2 World Champions. And when Kimi retires in 2021, we’ll be left with 1 (yes Lewis will win this year and next, deal with it!). Not that it’s overly important, but from a marketing standpoint, having only 1 champion doesnt paint an overly great picture. Having a willy old champion in Alonso, who will offer great sound bites, can’t be a bad thing.

  53. What if, IF, the driver musical chairs game is executed DURING this season? Ferrari dump Vettel early after more disappointing results. They bring in Sainz who drags Ricciardo to McLaren with Alonso filling the Renault seat?

    It’s been such a crazy year, this feels like it would be a good fit.

  54. One last shot at that 3rd title. Come on Fernando.

  55. I’m really looking forward to Abiteboul and Alonso on the radio!

  56. Fernando Alonso, Cyril Abiteboul, same team, hmmmm..

  57. Well now Renault has better engine than Ferrari, so atleast there won’t be any GP2 comments.

    I look forward to Alonso return, He’s a character, he drives with skill and passion. Maybe destructive for the team, all kinds of bad associated with him, but beautiful to watch.

    Just like I like watching Verstappen. Alonso can make the car dance a bit.

  58. Oh that’s gonna be a great end to Alonso’s and Renault’s career in F1. It’s gonna be excellent circus and I can’t wait.

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