Two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso has confirmed that he will return to the driving seat for Renault next season after two years away from the sport.
Alonso will be making his comeback with the French manufacturer for the third occasion in his career and he will replace Daniel Ricciardo, who is set to move to McLaren for the 2021 season.
Earlier last year, the FIA had announced significant changes to the technical regulations for 2021, which would bring some form of equality among the racers.
However, the 10 teams agreed to unanimously postpone the changes until the 2022 season after the coronavirus outbreak, which is expected to delay the production.
Alonso had obviously wanted to return to F1 when the new regulations were in place next year, but he is content with the decision made and believes he can build up with the team ahead of 2022.
“Probably my first intention was to go out in 2018 and see how life was outside the bubble and have a think for the 2021 rules,” he told reporters shortly after his Renault return was confirmed.
“This has been postponed one year because of Covid, but still it’s worth being in the sport in 2021 as a preparation for me after two years not driving these cars, and to build up with the team and have a good season.”
The 38-year-old, who was previously the world champion with Renault in 2005 and 2006, is currently the sixth-most successful driver in the history of the sport with 32 victories.
The Spaniard could be the second-oldest driver on the field next year after Alfa Romeo Racing’s Kimi Raikonnen, though it is unclear at the moment whether the latter will continue his Formula One career beyond this season.
Alonso, who has also represented McLaren and Ferrari in the past, will have Esteban Ocon as his Renault teammate next term. The 23-year-old made his debut for the team earlier this month. He spent the previous season as the reserve driver for Mercedes.