Former F1 driver and World Champion Damon Hill believes Fernando Alonso could function as a driver and manager for Renault. The British driver also feels Alonso is the right fit for Renault at a time when the team is trudging through a financial crisis.
While Fernando Alonso’s return to Renault in 2021 is primarily as a racing driver, there’s no stopping him from shouldering the responsibility of being the guiding force to the French team.
The Spaniard may embody the role of a lighthouse to Renault’s ship, something that the team desperately needs. And judging by, Team Principal, Cyril Abiteboul’s recent remarks, he may have Renault’s best interests in mind.
Is Fernando Alonso joining Renault as more than just a racing driver?
With Daniel Ricciardo moving to McLaren, Renault is devoid of yet another driver who was touted as the team’s “future”. Ricciardo joined the Enstone based outfit with lofty ambitions and it cost Renault a small fortune to get the Aussie onboard. Unfortunately, it seems like the gamble didn’t pay off for Ricciardo, consequently prompting his defection.
Having spent a considerable amount of time and resources in acquiring Daniel, Renault is now back to square one. However, the French team has a real chance with Alonso, who can give the team a sense of direction.
When the team announced Alonso’s arrival, the official press release mentioned an ambitious endeavor to make the team “podium-worthy” by 2022. This suggests a long-term plan with an understanding between Renault and Fernando.
The Spaniard has also advised the team to concentrate entirely on 2022 and the newer regulations. Could that mean Alonso’s joining Renault as more than just a racing driver?
“He probably would prefer for it to work out,” said Hill, speaking to the F1 Nation podcast. “Teams need direction and drivers like Fernando Alonso can give them direction. He’s that kind of personality, someone who likes to be in control.
“And he seems to be able to shoulder responsibility. And do the straight-talking with the big guys,” admits Hill, when asked about the probability of Fernando taking on the role of a driver-manager at Renault.
After 2 year gap, Alonso returns to the pinnacle of motorsport with the team that propelled him to both his World Championships.
Will the Spaniard recreate past glory or have Renault missed the trick, yet again?