Renault DP World F1 Team have brought in the Spaniard for a record third time. Fernando Alonso will be racing for the French team for the 2021 season.
El Nano is back. Renault and Fernando Alonso fans had been waiting for this since a very long time. Alonso is set to become the only F1 driver in history to race for the same team in three separate stints.
Renault F1 Twitter confirmation
🏁 Fernando Alonso joins Renault DP World F1 Team 🏁
Renault DP World F1 Team is pleased to confirm Fernando Alonso alongside Esteban Ocon in its driver line-up for the 2021 season.
— Renault F1 Team (@RenaultF1Team) July 8, 2020
The first time was one to remember. The Spanish champ joined Renault for the first time in 2002, as a test driver. The following year, he was promoted to the main team. He won his only two world titles with Renault in the years 2005 and 2006.
After leaving Renault in 2006, he made a comeback in 2008, before switching to Ferrari in 2010. He last raced in F1 in 2017, driving for the McLaren F1 team, finishing 11th.
Alonso then went on to try Le Mans, SportsCar Championship, World Endurance Championship, IndyCar Series and even the Dakar Rally. He went on to win Le Mans in 2018, World Endurance Championship in 2019, and Le Mans again in 2019.
Alonso to lead Renault into a new F1 era
Fernando Alonso will be partnering Frenchman Esteban Ocon next season. His contract is expected to be of 2 years, which will help him guide Renault to a new era in F1. A horde of regulation changes are in store for the sport from 2022 onwards.
Alonso is replacing current driver Daniel Ricciardo, who is making a switch to McLaren to replace Carlos Sainz. Sainz, in turn, is moving to Ferrari to replace Sebastian Vettel, who incidentally, had replaced Alonso at Ferrari.
Official Statement from Renault on Alonso
Renault Team Principal Cyril Abiteboul had this to say on the Spanish Champ.
“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.
“Alongside Esteban, his mission will be to help Renault DP World F1 Team prepare for the 2022 season in the best possible conditions.”
Fernando Alonso has also raced in F1 for the likes of Minardi, McLaren, and Ferrari in a stellar career. He has not only won two world titles, but has has also finished runner-up three times.
His 32 victories place him sixth on the all-time list in Formula One. With 311 race starts, only Rubens Barrichello (322) and Kimi Raikkonen (313) have been involved in more F1 Grand Prix races.