Earlier today, the rumor mill went berserk when the Renault F1 team announced Fernando Alonso as their 2021 recruit. Apparently, the French manufacturer believes that it has a plan to help Alonso “return to the highest level” by 2022.
The Spaniard has had a good track record with Renault, ever since he won back-to-back world championships. Now, 2021 is set to be his third stint with the team, after spells in 2003-2006 and 2008-2009.
Fernando Alonso has been out of F1 action since 2018 when he left McLaren after his second stint. However, he left the door ajar for a sensational return, only if he stood a chance to fight at the front in a competitive car. It is clear that Renault managed to convince Fernando Alonso that their plan for the future will bear fruit.
In a statement, Alonso said, “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.”
Can Renault and Fernando Alonso return to the front of the field?
Ever since the team returned to F1 in 2016, it has been branded as a midfield player. Despite a strong fourth place in 2018, the French team failed to make any inroads toward the Big 3.
To make matters worse, the team slipped to 5th in the Constructors’ Championship in 2019, falling behind McLaren.
At the end of 2018, Daniel Ricciardo left Red Bull to place some faith in the Renault program. However, the Australian is set to jump ship to McLaren at the end of 2020.
Alonso himself has been through a massive dry spell, with no podiums since the 2014 Hungarian Grand Prix. Then in 2015, he had to suffer four frustrating seasons with McLaren, in a fruitless partnership with Honda so he walked away.
Outside F1, Alonso won the FIA World Endurance Championship title in the 2018-19 season with Toyota. He even clinched the 24 Hours of Le Mans victory and participated in the 2020 Dakar Rally.
Now, Fernando Alonso is set for a third crack at the prestigious Indianapolis 500 in order to complete the Triple Crown. His first attempt ended with a car failure and his second attempt ended with him failing to qualify.
How well do you think he will fare this time?