Fernando Alonso has confirmed he will be back in Formula 1 in 2021, having signed for Renault to partner Esteban Ocon.
As reported by RACER on Tuesday, the double world champion returns to the team with which he won both world titles. He replaces Daniel Ricciardo, who is moving to McLaren next year in place of Ferrari-bound Carlos Sainz. While no contract length has been announced, RACER understands Alonso has signed a two-year deal, with an eye on the 2022 regulation changes.
“Renault is my family, my fondest memories in Formula 1 with my two world championship titles, but I’m now looking ahead,” Alonso said. “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 teammates. The team wants and has the means to get back on the podium, as do I.”
Managing director Cyril Abiteboul says the return of Alonso is a statement of intent from Renault that it is committed to F1 and fighting for victories in the future, despite slipping behind McLaren in the midfield fight last season.
“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,” Abiteboul said. “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.
“Alongside Esteban, his mission will be to help Renault DP World F1 Team prepare for the 2022 season in the best possible conditions.”