Alain Prost is a big admirer of Fernando Alonso’s talents as the Spaniard nears his eagerly-anticipated return to Renault and Formula 1.
Alonso is preparing for a third spell at Renault, who will be known as Alpine from 2021, after being confirmed as Daniel Ricciardo’s replacement once the Aussie decided to move to McLaren and replace the Ferrari-bound Carlos Sainz.
And current Renault advisor, Prost, thinks Alonso still has a lot to give at 39 years of age and feels he is coming back for the right reasons.
“Renault is his family,” Prost said in an interview with AS.
“I had never seen such a simple negotiation, but he had the motivation. He wasn’t motivated by the money, but by the project and by returning to Formula 1. And I appreciate that very much.”
The two-time World Champion has not featured in a Formula 1 race since 2018 but Prost has little concern over Alonso’s lengthy absence.
“With his experience he will need a few laps, but he will not need a year to adapt,” he added.
“Maybe in the first races you need a little more time. But I’m not sure, I’m not too worried.
“Maybe he’ll be fine from the start, at the highest level.”
Prost also said that Alonso has wasted little time in forging a close relationship again with the Renault team ahead of his official 2021 return.
“Fernando is very close to the team and the engineers,” he said.
“He goes to the simulator in England and is connected with the engineers during all the races.
“He knows everything. He gives advice when he can, has already driven the car in Spain and is in the meetings with Esteban [Ocon] and Daniel [Ricciardo].
“We have all three drivers and it’s working well, and Daniel is happy with it. He is good.”
Prost was also asked how long did he expect Renault to keep Alonso as part of the team and he said that will be dependent on two issues.
He said: “It depends a lot on two factors, his motivation and the results of the team. But it’s one thing we haven’t thought much about at the moment. We haven’t started yet.”
Alonso, is expected to hop back into the current Renault R.S.20 again before the end of the season following a filming day session at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona back in early October.