Smiling, happy, like a child in new shoes. So I attended Fernando Alonso by videoconference to more than 60 media that joined the first (virtual) press conference of the third stage of the two-time world champion of F1 at Renault. The Spanish was “extremely happy to return in 2021 and to do it with the team with which I have the best experience in the championship,” he said bluntly, showing himself full of energy after “a year and a half away from F1 very productive” In which he assured that he fulfilled some of his dreams, something key to “get air again” after leaving F1 in 2018 somewhat tired by how the competition was developing. In this sense, the Asturian clearly expressed that the reason for his return is the change in the regulations that will be implemented in 2022 in F1, a modification that he hopes will “bring more equality, action and level to the grill.”
The Asturian is “aware of how the first steps will be”, knowing that “in 2020 and 2021 there will be the same team that will win”, in clear reference to the dominance of Mercedes in current F1, and for this reason, he plans his first year back to the ‘Grand Circus’ in 2021 as part of his preparation after two years out of an F1 car. Everything, to attack the year 2022 with the maximum of ambitions despite the difficulty of bringing a team that is now in the middle of the table to the fight for the head. “There is time to work on this project and to build the momentum we need. We will build something together, in what we believe in. I am calm because everything I am looking for I have at Renault ”, he confidently commented.
HAPPY FOR RETURNING TO F1 AND RENAULT
“It is an extremely happy day for me to return to F1 and to return to the team where I had the best experiences in the category, so I am happy for this. I know many people at Renault, many engineers and mechanics And I know their passion, how hungry they are to still succeed. The new 2022 rules give an opportunity for the championship to be a little more even among teams. The new rules have been postponed for a season (they will start in 2022). Probably my first intention in 2018 when I left F1 was to see what life was like outside the F1 bubble and the option was to go back to the 2021 rules. These were postponed a year by Covid-19 but being in F1. In 2021 it can be a good preparation for me after 2 years without driving these cars, and preparing to rebuild with the team also for the following year. I cannot be happier, it is a very important day for me ”.
READY TO RETURN
“Last year was a very active season for me. This year I think it is the same for everyone. F1 has done only one race in Austria and I did 3 weeks of racing in the Dakar. The world stopped for several months and we are in the same conditions. Last year, between the IMSDA, WEC, the preparation of the Dakar I was behind the wheel almost every week of the year and I feel prepared. I am 100% in terms of riding. Physically I had to rebuild my body and start a very specific preparation in February and now I am 100%. I did a couple of fitness tests a couple of weeks ago and had the best results of my career. I am extremely motivated. I am happier and stronger than ever. ”
YOUR ROLE IN THE TEAM
“I believe that young talents are the future and in my personal experience Renault is one of the teams that invests the most in the academy. I have experience in different categories and different driving styles and I think that, with the rules of 2022, in terms of riding, I can do well. My mission is not only inside the car, but also outside it. I will try to do my best and help Renault become a champion team. This is the mission and I will work to the maximum for the team. ”
“This year the Triple Crown (Indy500) is the highest priority. I have no more careers. I would love to get it someday. It is a very special race and much more special this year because the preparation has changed, since you usually arrive with several days of simulator and this year there have been problems to fly to the USA before August, so it will be difficult, but I am happy to be able to Being there, being able to feel the speed and the season for Renault continues this weekend and I among the 500 Miles I think that until September I will not start the ‘serious’ work. We will try to define priorities for the 2021 goal. ”
“In 2018 I decided to take a breath. It was a wise decision. This year and a half has served me to get air and to do a complete ‘reset’. At the same time, it has been productive in terms of results, winning Le Mans, another World Cup (WEC), Daytona, other dreams I had outside of Formula One. All of this has helped me gather strength and want to return. I feel privileged because I am very lucky to choose when to leave and when to return. ”
BLIND CONFIDENCE IN THE TEAM
“Yes absolutely. I am aware of things and have not been underground these two years. I have seen F1 on television and the same team will probably win in 2020 and 2021, but this is what there is for the remaining 19 drivers on the grid and we will try to work with our team and our future thinking that the new rules of 2022 will bring us more equal action for teams. But we will try to work in the future. We hope that the new rules bring more equality, more action and more level to the grill. With that in mind, there is time to work on this project and to build the momentum we need. We will build something together, in what we believe in. I am calm because everything I am looking for I have at Renault: more motivation from everyone, investment, capacity and other things. I am happy and we will build something together that we believe in. ”
THE GREAT GOAL: 2022
“I think that with the entry of the new rules in 2022 we will have possibilities. The World Cup will be more even among the teams. My first intention was to see what life was like outside the Formula One bubble and wait for 2021. The entry into force of the new rules has been postponed for a year, but I think it is worth being in Formula One as early as 2021. as part of my preparation ”
ABOUT HIS NEW PARTNER, ESTEBAN OCON
“He was running in karting with my chassis, the Alonso Kart. I follow Esteban from the junior category. He has immense talent, nobody doubts it and also his personality is very good for F1. We saw it in years past. He had the option to join Mercedes recently and is now at Renault. He has a fantastic future in Formula One. I am happy that we can share a team. We have not talked much yet, but in the last few months we have shared time virtually and some games in video games. I hope we both help each other to make Renault stronger. ”