The Spanish two-time world champion is set to make a big return to the F1 circuit with the Renault team, with a two year deal which covers the 2021 and 2022 season.
The 38 year old will return to the outfit where he won his World Championships in 2005 and 2006, also raced in the team during the 2008-09 season. The veteran driver has already competed in over 300 Grands Prix since his debut with Minardi in 2001 at 19 years old.
His record speaks for itself as he has won 32 Grands Prix with three teams (Renault, McLaren and Ferrari) but he found it hard to win his third championship, coming close in 2007, 2010 and 2012.
The Spaniard has failed to win a race since the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix with his final four years with McLaren being frustrating times as the team was in a decline.
Alonso, who made his last appearance in the F1 circuit in 2018 with McLaren, will turn 40 in July of next year. He will be competing in the Indy 500 event with the Arrow McLaren SP team in August this year.
Renault declined to comment above the move when contacted by the BBC and Sky Sports.
Fernando Alonso won his only World Championships in 2005 and 2006
It has been said by insiders that Alonso has been in talks with Renault since November last year and his advisor, Flavio Briatore, mentioned this year that he was “motivated and ready to return to F1”.
However, it is unlikely that he will have a competitive start from next year as the teams will have to use the same cars as 2020 due to the introduction of a rule change because of the corona virus pandemic. Plus Renault was a midfield car at Austria during the weekend of the season-opening race.
The new technical rules which are going to be introduced in 2022 in order try to close up the field and the new budget caps on teams may give Renault a chance to contest near the front of the leading teams.
The Renault team dropped to fifth in last year’s Constructors’ Championship after finishing fourth place the year before.
He will replace the Mclaren bound Daniel Ricciardo and he will partner up with Esteban Ocon from next year.
Over the past decade a lot has changed in the Renault team but there will still be a few members of the team who will know him fondly from his past stints with the team, including the sporting director Alan Permane and current Renault technical director Pat Fry.
The team boss Cyril Abiteboul explained that Renault had been talking to big names to help push forward in the F1 circuit.
“We need a quick driver, and we need a driver that can understand and buy into Renault’s project,” he said.
“We are very clear about the nature of our team. We are a bit of a unique team in the F1 landscape, but at the same time also a young team, still in the making, with some struggles – in particular last year”
In addition, he also explained that the team are looking for drivers who understand and align with the core values of Renault.