Fernando Alonso, arguably the greatest natural talent to ever compete in motorsport, is returning to Formula 1 for the 2021 season. The Spaniard retired at the end of 2018, but will be joining Renault alongside Esteban Ocon next season. Alonso won the 2005 and 2006 world championships with the team, and also raced for them in 2008 and 2009.
His Formula 1 career also included stints with McLaren and Ferrari. His 32 victories place him sixth on the all-time list and he has 311 starts, only behind Rubens Barrichello (322) and Kimi Raikkonen (313). It’s believed that he has a two year contract and Alonso’s immense experience in the sport should help to develop the car for F1’s radical new rules for the 2022 season.
Since departing Formula 1, Alonso has won the Le Mans 24 Hours for a second time, won the WEC world championship with Toyota Gazoo Racing, failed to qualify for the Indy 500 and finished 13th in the Dakar Rally. He still hopes to achieve the triple crown of motorsport, having won the Monaco Grand Prix and the 24 Hours of Le Mans but unfortunately not the Indianapolis 500.
“Renault is my family, my fondest memories in Formula 1 with my two World Championship titles, but I’m now looking ahead,” said Alonso. “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,” explained Alonso.
Hopefully Renault will provide him with a car that’s capable of winning races, taking the fight to Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull Racing. I’m looking forward to seeing this great champion return to the sport next year.