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Renault have introduced that two-time world champion, Fernando Alonso will return to the group and Formula One in 2021.
Having twice pushed for Renault in two earlier stints, this return will mark Alonso’s third spell at Enstone on a two yr contract as he replaces the departing Daniel Ricciardo.
Alonso will associate Esteban Ocon subsequent season, though the Frenchman’s contract runs out past 2021 until he renews for an extra yr.
Speaking of his determination to return to the group, Alonso described Renault as “my family”, saying; “Renault is my family, my fondest memories in Formula One with my two World Championship titles, but I’m now looking ahead.”
Alonso additionally said that returning to Renault is “a great source of pride” and believes that the group provides him “the opportunity to return to the highest level.”
Renault Team principal, Cyril Abiteboul believes that Alonso’s return is proof of the group’s “commitment to F1 and to return to the top of the field.”
On the choice to signal the Spaniard for a 3rd spell, Abiteboul stated; “The power of the bond between him, the group and the followers make him a pure alternative.
“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 1 demands.”
Abiteboul nonetheless has said that the main focus is on making ready for the assorted rule modifications in 2022, with Alonso’s job being “to help Renault DP World F1 Team prepare for the 2022 season in the best possible condition.”
‘Controversial for so many reasons’
Although Alonso is massively fashionable with followers of all ages, Renault’s determination to signal him as Ricciardo’s substitute nonetheless must be thought of controversial for therefore many causes.
Questions will probably be requested round whether or not Alonso nonetheless has the pace and competitiveness to problem for podiums and wins, particularly after Michael Schumacher’s comparatively unsuccessful return firstly of final decade of Mercedes.
Schumacher although helped gear Mercedes as much as change into the success that they’ve been, though Lewis Hamilton changed him in 2013 forward of the regulation modifications in 2014 so there may be probably hope that Renault may replicate that success with Alonso on a shorter time scale.
Renault nonetheless is going through criticism over their poor effectivity in selling drivers from their driver academy into the primary group, with two younger drivers in Guanyu Zhou and Christian Lundgaard going for the F2 title this season.
You due to this fact can’t assist surprise if Renault are being hasty in signing Alonso for a 3rd stint, quite than ready and seeing if Zhou or Lundgaard acquire sufficient tremendous license factors to graduate into F1 at finish of this season of whom they might construct a group round.
Either means, this signing appears like Renault are going for expertise in short-term quite than focusing long-term and ready to see how their junior drivers fare this season earlier than deciding on Ricciardo’s substitute.