It was written in the stars, or rather the rumourmill, and today, Renault F1 has confirmed that Fernando Alonso will return to the team with which he won his two F1 World Championships with.
Alonso will partner Esteban Ocon as of 2021. The Spaniard, who has 314 Grand Prix starts, 32 wins and 97 podiums on his tally joins Renault DP World F1 Team for the upcoming seasons.
Renault's press release noted "Fernando is a great driver returning to F1 enriched by other experiences and willing to build with his much-loved team. The tenets of work, surpassing oneself and ingenuity as well as Fernando’s DNA defined by tenacity and pure talent make this union an obvious one.
"He will be an asset in the many efforts to win back the title and will give meaning to Renault’s commitment to the highest level of motorsport. The desire is to build a team around two complementary drivers, combining experience and youth, and pooling their values and talent in the service of the project. Fernando’s fighting spirit should benefit the whole team and allow everyone to achieve their goals."
Even though Renault is seemingly is somewhat of a lull in terms of performance, with them being unable to progress out of the midfield recently, both the team and their newly announced driver look forward to move higher up.
“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", said Cyril Abiteboul, Managing Director, Renault Sport Racing.
"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.”
Fernando Alonso on the other hand underlined the history he has with this team, and is thankful for the opportunity after some difficult years at McLaren, and two years out of the sport.
“Renault is my family, my fondest memories in Formula One with my two World Championship titles, but I’m now looking ahead", said 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.”