‘It Isn’t the Case, That’s for Sure’ – Ricciardo Dismisses Popular Fernando Alonso Theory Ahead of F1 Return

Published 01/25/2021, 8:00 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – Fernando Alonso poses for a picture with the Renault R25 before driving a lap Pool via REUTERS/Bryn Lennon


Fernando Alonso is making his Formula 1 comeback his season after two years. He is replacing Daniel Ricciardo at the newly rebranded Alpine team.

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Ahead of the Abu Dhabi GP race, Renault reunited Alonso with his championship-winning R25 car before they rebranded themselves for the next season. His demo run had ex-Renault driver Daniel Ricciardo convinced that Alonso has still has his racing edge.

Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – Fernando Alonso is interviewed FIA/Handout via REUTERS

He said, “I watched the onboard. It was pretty cool.

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“I guess anyone thinking Fernando’s too old, um, it isn’t the case, that’s for sure. I think he only knows one speed that guy and, yeah, it’s fast and even kerbs and that, he wasn’t shy to hustle the equipment.”

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Ricciardo surprised at the lap time of Fernando Alonso

Alonso’s reunion with R25 was a view to behold for everyone in the paddock. The sound of the car, the speed of it, the experience was nostalgic and exciting. While the Spaniard drove the lap, Daniel Ricciardo was watching the lap through the onboard camera.

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The Australian recalled the sweet sound of the V10 engine and explained, even though he didn’t have a stopwatch, he knew Alonso was going much slower. However, he pointed out that the screaming V10 engine made it seem faster.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 12: Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Renault Sport F1 looks on in the Paddock during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Australia at Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit on March 12, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images)

Ricciardo was later informed that Alonso’s lap time was just four seconds shy of Verstappen’s pole position time. The Australian was taken aback and said, “Really? Wait! What did quali….1:39? Whoa! He’s moving. Alright, so he’s not that slow!”

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Fernando Alonso claims his experiences in World Endurance Championship, Dakar Rally and Indianapolis 500 over the last two years have made him a more complete driver. Alonso has also completed several tests to re-adapt to the speed of a Formula 1 car. Do you believe the Spaniard will get back on top of the podium this season?

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Ayush Manjunath

586 articles

Ayush Manjunath is a Formula 1 author for EssentiallySports with more than 500 articles to his name. A Law graduate and a current Sports Management student, Ayush also has a certificate from UCLA on Sports, Media and Entertainment Management. He has an undying love for motorsports and lives to see Max Verstappen, George Russell, Charles Leclerc, and Lando Norris battle for the championship one day!

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