Double Formula 1 world champion, Fernando Alonso will reunite with the team where he won his titles, after Renault announced he will join the team in 2021.
Alonso, who won both of his world championships with Renault in 2005 and 2006, will return to Formula 1 after taking a two year sabbatical from 2018, replacing Daniel Ricciardo, who previously announced that he will be moving to McLaren next year.
The Spaniard left McLaren at the end of 2018 after a difficult period where he was left fighting on the fringes of the top ten, and said that he would only consider a return to the series if he had a car capable of fighting at the front.
Renault have struggled in recent season to get closer to the front, and remain in a tight midfield pack with McLaren and Racing Point, and with regulations remaining stable for next year, it is unlikely that will change.
But, with an overhaul of the regulations set to be introduced from 2021, Alonso and Renault will be hoping that the car will be much more competitive in the new aerodynamic era.
Speaking about the signing, Renault Team Principal, Cyril Abiteboul said: “The signing of Fernando Alonso is part of Groupe Renault’s plan to continue its commitment to F1 and to return to the top of the field.
“His presence in our team is a formidable asset on the sporting level but also for the brand to which he is very attached.
“The strength of the bond between him, the team and the fans make him a natural choice. In addition to past successes, it is a bold mutual choice as well as a project for the future.
“His experience and determination will enable us to get the best out of each other to take the team towards the excellence that modern Formula 1 demands.
“He will also bring to our team, which has grown very fast, a culture of racing and winning to overcome hurdles together.”
This will be Alonso’s third stint with the Enstone-based team, after rejoining the squad when he left McLaren at the end of 2007, and the 38-year-old believes that the team can become podium finishers once again in 2022.
“Renault is my family, my fondest memories in Formula One with my two World Championship titles, but I’m now looking ahead.” commented Alonso.
“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.
“I have principles and ambitions in line with the team’s project. Their progress this winter gives credibility to the objectives for the 2022 season and I will share all my racing experience with everyone from the engineers to the mechanics and my team-mates.
“The team wants and has the means to get back on the podium, as do I.”