After his retirement in 2018, Fernando Alonso constantly expanded his Motosport horizon. He conquered the 24 hours Le Mans and FIA World Endurance Championship. He also raced in the Indianapolis 500 and Dakar Rally.
After two years off, Fernando Alonso announced earlier this year that he is coming back to Formula 1. He will replace Daniel Ricciardo next year in Renault, as the latter moves to McLaren. The Spaniard is busy with practice sessions to help him get accustomed to the speed of Formula 1 cars once again.
However, Felipe Massa expressed his doubts about Alonso’s return to Formula 1.
He said, “However, it must be remembered that he comes to a team that is not in the top positions and he has been out of F1 for two years.”
Felipe Massa acknowledged that Alonso is a “phenomenon” and a difficult talent to find. However, he pointed out that Alonso’s return to Renault could end up like Michael Schumacher’s time with Mercedes.
He said, “It should not be hidden that it can be a negative effect, as happened to Schumacher, who was out for three years and did not return to the level of before.”
Schumacher had retired at the end of 2006 and made his comeback in 2010. He drove for Mercedes for three years. However, things did not go as planned. The German managed only a solitary podium finish in 2012 and decided to bid the sport his final goodbye.
Massa also pointed out that age is a crucial factor as well.
“Age is also a factor. Fernando will be 40 years old and will fight 20-25 year old drivers. Age is a problem, but it must be recognized that Alonso is a talent and can do well.
“For F1 it is positive that Fernando returns,” he further explained.
Alonso is coming back after two years away and this will be his third stint with Renault. He won both his championships, in 2005 and 2006, driving for Renault. It will be interesting to see whether history repeats itself or his driving stints outside F1 will help Renault rise up from the midtable.