The selection of staff can’t be understated: The Spaniard, who will flip 39 later this month, gained each his championship titles with Renault throughout the 2005 and 2006 seasons. The veteran driver has made 314 Grand Prix begins in his F1 profession, notching up 32 wins and 97 podiums (each his wins and podiums place him in sixth on the all-time record) throughout three groups — Renault, McLaren and Ferrari — and his return will mark the primary time a driver has had three separate stints with a single F1 staff (2003-06, 2008-09 and from 2021 onwards).

Whereas Renault didn’t affirm if the deal will last more than a single season, the driving force himself clearly has designs on his return being not a lot a curtain name, however a substantial new chapter in his spectacular profession. Added to this, he feels the brand new laws — meant to be launched in 2021, however now delayed till 2022 due to coronavirus pandemic — will give him, and Renault, an opportunity to be extra aggressive.

The veteran Alonso can be changing Daniel Ricciardo who’s transferring to McLaren — the identical staff Alonso left in 2018 — and can see him drive alongside considered one of hottest younger skills on the grid, 23-year-old Esteban Ocon.

Within the first race of the 2020 season in Austria, Ocon and Renault completed in eighth place.

“Clearly, it is a very comfortable day,” Alonso advised CNN World Sport’s Amanda Davies. “After I left Method One, I felt that it might be a chance to return again in 2021 … I have been in a position to breathe just a little bit out of Method One as a result of I’ve acquired 18 consecutive Method One seasons, that are fairly demanding. I believe I wanted that point out and I come again now stronger than ever.”

Fernando Alonso of Spain and McLaren Honda walks in the Paddock during previews ahead of the US Formula One Grand Prix at the Circuit of The Americas on October 19, 2017.
However it isn’t as if he has spent his time away from the grueling sport along with his toes up at dwelling, watching the subsequent technology of F1 drivers, a few of whom are near half his age, hoping to emulate Alonso’s achievements. The Spaniard has gained the Le Mans 24 Hours — for a second time — triumphed within the WEC world championship, tried to overcome the famed Indianapolis 500 race and even managed a greater than respectable 13th place end within the legendary Dakar Rally. What’s extra, Alonso has designs on competing within the Indy 500 for a 3rd time subsequent month.

Any approach you wish to take a look at it, Alonso’s drive for achievement and starvation to stay aggressive stays undiminished.

“I hate shedding,” he explains to CNN Sport with an enormous smile on his face. “I really like successful. However, you realize, I do not prefer to lose at something, and it will be arduous. Particularly 2021. We all know the place the automotive is at now. We all know the efficiency subsequent yr is just a little little bit of carryover from this yr. So, I am conscious that we must work lots and we’ll should slowly enhance the automotive. However, you realize, I am able to take that problem as effectively.”

Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso of Spain (R) and McLaren-Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton (L) of Britain celebrate on the podium with champagne after Formula One's Malaysian Grand Prix in 2012.

But when all is claimed and achieved, and business and profession concerns are put to the aspect, how a lot of the romantic in Alonso performed a choice in his return? In spite of everything, he has spoken about Renault offering his fondest recollections inside F1.

“Romantic is a giant issue on this sort of determination,” he mentioned. “Coming again to Renault is a plus for me, as a result of I do know the individuals within the staff, I do know numerous members that have been on my time a few years in the past. And likewise the dedication that

Renault made about Method One and the long run that the staff that the staff has now, I believe it was vital.”

By the sounds of it, Alonso’s future in motor sport nonetheless has many laps, races and — doubtlessly — years left to run. So, simply how lengthy does he envisage getting behind the wheel?

“I believe 10, 12 (years)” he begins, presumably joking, however then once more, maybe not. “Let’s examine. Look, once I was 25 or 28, I assumed possibly three or 4 extra years in Method One can be sufficient. However now at 38, for no matter cause, I develop extra abilities. I used to be driving in numerous automobiles, completely different classes, studying completely different driving kinds. I mentioned earlier than, I really feel recent now, prepared for touring, prepared for doing various things, work on the simulator. So, I really feel higher now than once I was 25. So, I can not inform now that there is solely two or three years extra in me. You already know, possibly there are extra.”

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