Two-time Formula 1 World Champion and Indianapolis 500 competitor Fernando Alonso will be returning to F1 next season with Renault. The team confirmed today that Alonso will drive alongside Esteban Ocon for the 2021 season. With this move, it almost assures that Alonso will not be competing in the 105th running of the Indianapolis 500 next year. The 38-year old is believe to have signed a two-year contract.
Alonso, who retired from Formula 1 after the 2018 season, competed for Renault from 2003 to 2006 and then again in 2008 and 2009. He has won 32 races, the most recent of which being the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, and he earned 16 of those victories driving for the team. He also won his two championships driving for them in 2005 and 2006. The full press release from today is below.
[Renault DP World F1 Team Press Release]
Renault DP World F1 Team is pleased to confirm Fernando Alonso alongside Esteban Ocon in its driver line-up for the 2021 season.
With 314 Grand Prix starts, 32 wins and 97 podiums, Fernando joins Renault DP World F1 Team for the upcoming seasons. 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.
Renault, with its values, is one of the greatest brands in Formula 1. 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.
Cyril Abiteboul, Managing Director, Renault Sport Racing:
“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. 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.”
“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. 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.”