Fernando Alonso carried out his first Formula 1 test since announcing his return with Renault next year, driving the current car in Barcelona.
Renault is using the 2020 car on one of its filming days to give Alonso his first running, meaning the event is limited to 100km on promotional Pirelli tires specific to that type of running. It does allow Alonso a chance to get a true feel for the current car compared to testing a two-year-old version, and he said he aimed to make the most of the limited track time.
“Returning behind the wheel is going to be an amazing feeling,” Alonso said ahead of jumping in. “After two years not driving in Formula 1, I’m really looking forward to it. It’s going to be like a new beginning, getting surprised about the speed of the car, the braking performance, the corner speed, a lot of things which will surprise me once again.
“It’s very special to be back in Barcelona, I remember my first test with Benetton in the year 2000, it was in Barcelona. It’s going to be at the same circuit 20 years after that first test, it’s going to be one of the last opportunities with a car named after the Renault brand because next year it’s going to change. I feel really privileged, I’m looking forward to it, very excited.
“Preparing for this test was not easy, with the COVID restrictions — it was not the normal preparations, not many days in the simulator, but nevertheless, I think we are ready. I know I will learn and discover a lot of things during those laps. I will take it with a very open approach, try to learn as much as possible in every kilometer.”
Alonso has made multiple visits to Enstone and Viry and has also used the Renault simulator in recent weeks as he ramps up preparations for his racing return next year.
For the filming day, Renault had to deal with restrictions that mean team personnel returning to the UK from Spain face the possibility of having to self-isolate for two weeks on arrival back home.
— Renault F1 Team (@RenaultF1Team) October 13, 2020