Alonso and Tsunoda complete test runs

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Fernando Alonso completed a two-day test programme with Renault at Bahrain as he continues to prepare himself for his return to the Formula One paddock in 2021.

The two-time world champion is set to make his return to Formula One next year when he joins the Renault F1 Team that is set to be rebranded as Alpine in 2021. The Spaniard is adamant to mount a challenge on the championship titles when he returns, trying now to capitalize on every opportunity to get himself fully prepared after a two-year absence from the sport.

Renault has been in Bahrain since last week when it tested with its young drivers with Oscar Piastri, Christian Lundgaard and Guanyu Zhou sampling the 2018-spec Renault machinery during a three-day testing. The Anglo-French team stayed on the 5.412km Manama track with Fernando Alonso who flew over from Imola to conduct his second test in an F1 car in 2020.

The two-time world champion completed 93 laps both on Wednesday and on Thursday at the wheel of the RS18, enjoying fantastic weather at the venue that is set to host two races later on this year.

Not only the Spaniard and Reanult were working on the race tracks this week as AlphaTauri also took it to the track with Yuki Tsunoda. Following its successful Emilia Romagna Grand Prix that saw Daniil Kvyat clinch the fourth place, the Faenza-based track stayed at Imola that is just 15km located from its base to conduct testing with the team’s Japanese junior driver.

The F2 driver completed 352km in total behind the wheel of the team’s 2018 car and could also sample Pirelli’s wet weather tyres as the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari was damp initially.

“It was easier for the driving, but also harder physically,” said Tsunoda. “I expected it to be a little bit less hard physically, especially on the neck. Because driving in Formula 2, I don’t feel much on my neck, and my neck is pretty strong.

“After I drove a Formula 1 car today, I felt it pretty hard, especially in the braking zone and the braking performance. The braking power is more than I expected. I need a lot of training until maybe the next session and next event to drive a Formula 1 car and prepare.”

“After I put the throttle, I initially feel the big power from the engine which I don’t feel much in Formula 2,” said Tsunoda. “I think that power is more than I expected, and that was, even in the rain, it was really, really big performance for the initial struggle. Even in rainy conditions, I think it was more [performance] than I felt in Formula 2 dry conditions. That was the biggest surprise for today.”

Team Principal Franz Tost was delighted with Tsunoda’s first outing with AlphaTauri and is looking forward to the Young Driver Test that will take place in Abu Dhabe after the season finale.

„Yuki gave valuable technical feedback regarding the behaviour of the car, which was in line with what we expected. In his last run, he did a race simulation and he was very consistent, which is clear evidence he had everything under control.
„We are looking forward to his next test in Abu Dhabi, when he will be doing the young driver test for Scuderia AlphaTauri.”