Fernando Alonso believes the Renault Formula 1 team are doing an “amazing job trackside” and is impressed with their improvement this year, after visiting the factory earlier this week.
Alonso will return to the squad where he secured his two F1 world titles next year, having spent two years away from the series after leaving McLaren in 2018, although Renault will be renamed as Alpine for 2021.
As part of his preparation, the Spaniard made a visit to Renault’s factories at Enstone and Viry-Chatillon earlier this week, taking part in a simulator session as well as having a seat fitting, and he admitted that there was a lot to learn.
“It was a like a first day at school, with lots of things to learn and get through, but it was very productive.” commented Alonso.
“I’ve followed a programme in the simulator, getting used to the car a little, testing the facilities – last time I was here the simulator didn’t exist!
“Then I had a seat fit and meetings with key people to understand the programme for next year. It was really just getting up to speed.”
Renault have struggled to break out of the midfield since they returned to Formula 1 in 2016, but this season they have made significant improvements, with Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon both fighting towards the higher end of the midfield on a regular basis.
And Alonso has been impressed with the team’s rate of improvement over the last few Grands Prix, and is looking forward to being able to fight with other cars straight out of the box next year, having found himself confined to the rear of the grid in his final few years with McLaren.
“I think the team is in good shape for the future.” he added.
“The last few races were encouraging for everyone, for myself too.
“To see Renault back in a competitive manner is a good thing for the sport and I’ve been delighted to see the improvements.
“We’ve still got a long way to go and the midfield is very tight but I think the guys have done an amazing job trackside.
“The last couple of races were very exciting to watch and I am looking forward to being back in the mix.
“I’ll now follow what the team needs from my side – some sim days, helping some weekends and being available for the team for anything they need.”