May 15 (GMM) At the end of a sensational ‘silly season’ week for Formula 1, it now emerges that Fernando Alonso looks to be returning to the sport and Renault next year.
Sources report that the deal is almost done, with Renault, Alonso and his manager Flavio Briatore all dropping photographic hints on social media in recent hours.
“For me, Alonso is one of those drivers you could put in any car and they are immediately on the pace,” former driver Marc Surer told Speed Week.
“But I do not believe he is returning because he would want a car with which he can be at the front.”
Indeed, Daniel Ricciardo has clearly vacated the seat and switched to McLaren after losing faith in Renault’s works project. Alonso won his two titles with Renault some decade and a half ago.
Ferrari refugee Sebastian Vettel is also being linked with the seat, but insiders believe retirement is more likely for the quadruple world champion.
“It’s really hard to say who a suitable teammate will be for (Esteban) Ocon, but Renault will need experience,” Mika Salo told Finland’s MTV.
However, the Finn said Alonso would be a “surprising” choice.
“Alonso has been out of the sport and I don’t know how he would adapt to the new car,” said Salo. “It’s a risk for Renault, but definitely a good media move.”
Ferrari tester and Alonso’s fellow Spaniard Marc Gene told El Partidazo de Cope: “I don’t know anything in particular, but I think Alonso wants to return in 2021 and I do see him in a team like Renault.
“It would not seem strange to me,” he said.