Madrid Desk, Jul 8 (efe-epa).- Spanish racing driver Fernando Alonso is poised to return to Formula One in 2021 after signing a two-season deal with Renault DP.
He has previously won two World Championships with the team in 2005 and 2006.
The Spaniard left the sport in 2018 after 17 seasons of racing, in which he won the two World Championship titles and accumulated 32 Grand Prix wins, 22 pole starts and 97 podium finishes.
Alonso is to replace Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo, who announced his departure to McLaren, where he will fill a sport left behind by another Spaniard, Carlos Sainz.
Sainz is on his way to race for Ferrari, Alonso’s former team from 2010-14.
In a statement, Renault said: “Given the strong historic and emotional bond between the team and Fernando Alonso — Renault and Fernando won their two world championship titles together in 2005 and 2006 — this decision is both bold and meaningful for the future.
“Fernando is a great driver returning to F1 enriched by other experiences and willing to build with his much-loved team.”
During his F1 hiatus, Alosno turned his attention to other forms of motor sport, competing in last year’s Indy 500 and entering the Dakar Rally endurance race.
Speaking of his imminent return to the sport, Alonso said: “Renault is my family, my fondest memories in Formula One with my two World Championship titles, but I’m now looking ahead. “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.”
Throughout his F1 career, Alonso alternated between Renault, McLaren and Ferrari. This will be his third stint with the French carmaker.
“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,” he said.
“The team wants and has the means to get back on the podium, as do
The managing director of Renault Sport Racing Cyril Abiteboul said Alonso’s signing proved Renault’s intention of returning to the top of F1 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.”
Alonso will race alongside Esteban Ocon. EFE-EPA