Two-time Formula One world driving champion Fernando Alonso will return to the series in 2021 after a two-year hiatus.
Alonso will join the Renault DP World F1 Team and pair with current driver Esteban Ocon.
Alonso left the McLaren team after the 2018 season and it appeared his Formula One career was over. But the Spanish champion had a change of heart.
But the xx-year-old driver is also returning home, as he won his two world championships driving for Renault in 2005 and ’06.
“Renault is my family, my fondest memories in Formula One with my two world championship titles, but I’m now looking ahead,” said Alonso, who signed a two-year contract with the team. “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.”
With 314 Grand Prix starts, 32 wins and 97 podiums, Alonso is one of the most successful drivers in Formula One history.
“The signing of Fernando Alonso is part of Groupe Renault’s plan to continue its commitment to F-1 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 One 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 F-1 Team prepare for the 2022 season in the best possible conditions.”
Alonso is scheduled to run the Indianapolis 500 on Aug. 23.