Renault has been figuring out ways to provide Fernando Alonso enough time at the wheel of the R.S. 20 before the commencement of the 2021 season. Everything went according to plan until the point where Renault requested the FIA to let the Spaniard take part in the test in Abu Dhabi.
According to Cyril Abiteboul, Renault’s team principal, a few of the rivals have opposed their idea of letting Alonso drive during the test. “It was the usual idea of trying to play any little games possible,” he said.
“But most teams are pragmatic. We just need to hope the FIA will be. Renault does so much for young drivers.”
During the recent F1 commission meeting, Renault brought up this idea but ended up facing some resistance from several teams, including Mclaren, who later acknowledged it. Nevertheless, Cyril sounded convinced that Renault would still get the approval from the FIA.
According to Motorsport, Racing Point, Mclaren, and Ferrari are the three teams to have voiced out against Renault’s plan. Andreas Seidl, Mclaren’s team principal, too mentioned the same. Although he denied revealing what exactly happened during the meeting, he gave a sneak peek on the matter.
“It is clear that we all voted for a regulation change at the beginning of this year when the pandemic started, which ended up in these tests clearly being defined in the sporting regulations having the sole purpose of testing young drivers.”
Mclaren and the other rival teams will keep a close watch on how the matter further develops. If the FIA chooses to give the verdict in favor of Renault, it is highly likely that the rival teams will initiate protests against this until the FIA change their mind. Their displeasure with Renault does have a reason behind it.
Only certain drivers are eligible to participate in the test. The FIA’s rule states that the driver “must be in possession of an international A License; and unless otherwise approved by the FIA, not have completed in more than two F1 world championship races during their career.”
Hence, if FIA gives Renault a green flag, this could look like the FIA are breaking their own rules in a bid to favor the French-based outfit. Apart from that, this could also bring down the advantage the rival teams currently have over Renault as Alonso is yet to get back to his old form since his break from F1.
Overall, could Renault clear the obstacles that are in front of them at the moment and give Alonso the crucial test run in Abu Dhabi later this year? Only time will tell.