Fernando Alonso will step up his preparations ahead of his return to Formula 1 with a two-day test in Bahrain, Renault has confirmed.
As Alfa Romeo confirmed Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi as their 2021 driver line-up, Renault announced exactly at the same time on their social media platforms that Alonso has been booked in for two full day testing sessions in Bahrain.
The two-day test will take place on November 4 and November 5, with the two-time World Champion hopping into the R.S.18 in order to get some more mileage back on the clock.
Alonso, who is with the Renault team at Imola this weekend, has already experienced the current R.S.20 in a recent filming day at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona.
The Spaniard reported after the session that he was not unable to extract the maximum possible during the 100km of running.
“The car is outperforming me at the moment,” Alonso said.
“I cannot extract the maximum from the car because getting back to F1 speed is not easy.
“I was improving lap after lap, trying to give feedback to the engineers.
“We had some filming to do so there were cameras and drones following on track. It was half-pleasure, half-work.
“The car has potential. We see it every weekend. But there’s still some room to improve as we know and we’ll try to do it in the short-term.”
— Renault F1 Team (@RenaultF1Team) October 30, 2020
Alonso also pinpointed his fitness as one of the key elements to work on, with a full two-day test set to help him on that front.
“There are many things to get ready,” he said.
“First will be the fitness, you have to be back in shape, to train for F1 standards.
“The neck and the upper body will need to be reinforced in the next couple of months.
“But so far it has been good. I know I need to keep working.
“Preparations in terms of comfort, seat fitting, the steering wheel, pedal position, there are many things we need to go through.
“And also with the engineers try to have a good relationship, a good connection that we understand each other just looking at each other.
“All those kind of things we need a bit of time, but we are using this last part of 2020 and the winter of next year to build momentum.”