The choice of the team cannot be underlined: the Spaniard, who will turn 39 this month, won his championship titles with Renault during the 2005 and 2006 seasons.
The veteran driver has won 314 Grand Prix in his F1 career, scoring 32 wins and 97 podiums (both his victories and podiums place him sixth on the all-time list) between three teams – Renault, McLaren and Ferrari – and his return will mark the first time a driver has had three separate points with a single F1 team (2003-06, 2008-09 and 2021 onwards).
While Renault has not confirmed whether the deal will last more than a season, the driver himself has clear designs on his return, not so much for a curtain call, but for a sizable chapter in his impressive career.
In addition, he believes that the new regulations – intended to be introduced in 2021, but now delayed until 2022 due to a coronavirus pandemic – will give Renault, and Renault, a chance to be more competitive.
Veteran Alonso will replace Daniel Ricciardo, who is moving to McLaren – the same team that left the Spanish in 2018 – and will see him drive alongside one of the hottest young talents on the grid, 23-year-old Esteban Ocon.
In the first race of the 2020 season in Austria, Ocon and Renault finished in eighth place.
“Obviously it’s a very happy day,” Alonso, 38, told CNN World Sport’s Amanda Davies. “When I left Formula One, I felt it could be a chance to come back in 2021 … I was able to breathe a little bit out of Formula One because I have 18 consecutive Formula One seasons, which are pretty demanding. I think I needed this time and I’m back stronger now than ever. “
But it’s not like he’s spent his time away from the grueling sport with his feet at home, watching the next generation of F1 drivers, some of whom reach middle age, hoping to emulate the successes of Alonso.
Either way, Alonso’s desire for success and his hunger to stay competitive remains unabated.
“I hate losing,” he tells CNN Sport with a huge smile on his face. “I love to win. But, you know, I don’t like to lose anything and it would be difficult. Especially 2021. We know where the car is now.
“We know that next year’s performance is a bit of a take on this year. So I’m aware that we’re going to have to work hard and we have to gradually improve the car. But, you know, I’m in point to take on this challenge “.
However, when all is said and done, and commercial and career considerations come to light, what part of Alonso’s romance decided on his return? After all, he has talked about Renault bringing his most cherished memories within F1.
“Romance is an important factor in these kinds of decisions,” he said. “Going back to Renault is an advantage for me, because I know the people on the team, I know a lot of members who were in my time a couple of years ago. And also the commitment that
Renault thought about Formula One and the future of the team they have now, I think it was important. “
Apparently, Alonso’s future in motorsport still has many twists and turns, races, and possibly many years of racing. So how long do you plan to get behind the wheel?
“I think ten, 12 (years),” he starts joking, presumably, but again, maybe not. “Let’s see. Look, when I was 25 or 28, I thought maybe three or four more years in Formula One would be enough.
“But now at 38, for whatever reason, I develop more skills. I drove in different cars, different categories, learning different driving styles. I said before, I feel cool now, ready to travel, ready to do different things, work. simulator.
“Now, I feel better than when I was 25. So I can’t say now that there’s only two or three more years in me. You know, maybe there are more.”