Any doubts that Fernando Alonso was done with the sport when he completed the symbolic ‘donuts’ at the 2018 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix but only to put on a show for the crowds have been dumbfounded by a piece of news that’ll light up many a face around.
In what can be called the biggest pre-season news for 2021, which is yet to begin, the veteran driver has announced his comeback. And that too, in star-studded fashion at the coveted Renault seat, which’ll make Fernando Alonso the second (or other) driver at the the famous French Constructor alongside Esteban Ocon.
Alonso’s return to the sport also in some ways reminds us about the truth to the warning that storms often offer a strong forewarning.
For even before the official announcement regarding the Spanish driver was confirmed, the social media stratosphere riddled with speculation about Alonso possibly returning to the sport where he’s driven past the checkered flag with two world titles, each with Renault, the team he marks his comeback with.
But when it comes to Fernando Alonso then possibility or probability is never the word; certainty is.
Certainty about going extra quick, about extracting something amazing from the car, and about pushing competitors to the very edge with sheer grit and resilience.
And that’s exactly what the man nicknamed “El Nino” would want to exhibit in his second stint at the pinnacle of Grand Prix racing.
Although, what the Oviedo-born would hope for his new stint is to be behind the wheels of a reliable and safe machine instead of the insipid, recalcitrant car he had persistent troubles with when he was with McLaren in those troubled years – 2015 to 2018.
While any doubts how the McLaren has fared ever since Alonso left the sport have been raised to the ground. Think Lando Norris’ epic podium at the recently-held Austrian Grand Prix.
Although, wary of the midfielders’ good speed and stable car handling, the man famously regarded as the legendary fighter in the sport would be hungry to mount a good challenge come 2021.
It’s important to run through a stack of achievements that prove Fernando Alonso’s credibility as one of the greats and a giant of the modern era.
97 podiums, 32 race wins, 22 pole positions and 23 fastest laps; emphatic feats that culminated in two world championships, grabbed among contesting with some iconic names in the pantheon of the sport such as Kimi Raikkonen, Michael Schumacher, Jenson Button among the others.
All of that told, here’s some verve of excitement from the official sport site F1.com
The Spaniard will become the first driver to have three separate stints with a single Formula 1 team, having raced for Renault between 2003-06 (when he won two world titles), 08-09 and now from 2021 onwards.
In what has been highlighted as a big step forward for the Renault team, team principal Cyril Abiteboul exclaimed Alonso’s return with intrepid enthusiasm stating, “ 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.”