Ocon: ‘Very happy’ to partner Alonso at Renault

Jamie Woodhouse
Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso

Esteban Ocon said he would be “very happy” for Fernando Alonso to become his team-mate at Renault from 2021.

The two-time World Champion is regularly linked with a return to the sport having walked away at the end of 2018.

And even though the new regulations have been pushed back until 2022, a return for Alonso next year could well happen.

And if it does happen it seems he will return to Renault for a third stint, with the team themselves saying he is an “option“.

Alonso won both of his titles with Renault in 2005 and 2006, while the team secured their only Constructors’ Championships in those two seasons also.

And Ocon, who said it was Alonso who gave him his “love” for Formula 1, would be “very happy” to be Alonso’s Renault team-mate if they choose the Spaniard as Daniel Ricciardo’s replacement.

Asked by Motorsport.com whether or not he had a say in his 2021 team-mate, Ocon said: “My personal choice has no relation to what the team is going to do.

“I have a great relationship with Fernando. The helmet I have and the only swap I did in between the drivers was with him.

“He was the one with Michael [Schumacher], his fights back in the day, that gave me the love for the sport.

“I don’t know if he’s going to join or not with us, but definitely if he could come back, I would be very happy.”

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Renault have said all along that they will not rush into deciding on Ricciardo’s replacement.

Sebastian Vettel and Valtteri Bottas are the other high-profile names alongside Alonso who have been linked to the seat, though a less established name hasn’t been ruled out either.

Renault Academy and F2 drivers Guanyu Zhou and Christian Lundgaard would be at the front of that queue.

Ironically, Ricciardo was asked about the situation, and said he would like to race against Alonso.

“I would only say Alonso just because it’s something I’m yet to experience,” he said.

“Team-mates are great benchmarks and also great additions to your skill set.

“You can always learn something. I don’t believe there’s any driver in this sport that’s been perfect yet. There’s always an improvement to make.

“For that I would say Fernando. In that as well, I only had 12 months with Seb. That went pretty quickly, so I wouldn’t be opposed to that again.”

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