Fernando Alonso spoke with a few teams about a Formula 1 comeback but says Renault was “always the preferred choice”.
Walking away from F1 at the end of 2018, Alonso made it clear that the door was not completely closed and that he could one day be back on the grid.
That day will be 14 March 2021, at least according to the provisional calendar.
Alonso has re-signed with Renault, the team with whom he won his two World titles in 2005 and 2006.
“I talked to a few teams, but Renault was always the preferred choice,” he told Sky F1 ahead of his third stint with the team. “For two reasons.
“One in terms of expectations and building something from midfield to the top. It was very attractive, very appealing.
“And secondly because I know everyone in this team, I know the passion for racing.
“It’s the third time that I’ve come here and I knew that I would feel at home here.”
The double World Champion is preparing for his F1 return with a few days in the 2018 Renault RS18.
— Renault F1 Team (@RenaultF1Team) October 30, 2020
He has, however, also tested this year’s RS20, taking part in a filming day that limited him to 100km in the car.
“It was amazing, it was quite an experience you know when you were out of the sport for two years and then you drive a Formula car everything surprises you like the first time.
“I need those laps now. The simulator is good until a certain point but then you need the physical effort of the car, the G-forces, the training of the neck.
“You can do as many elastics at home but it will never replicate the real car so I need as many laps as possible.”
The begs the question, will he need time next year to get up to speed.
He replied: “Honestly I expect to be straight up to speed, but I’m aware of the challenge that maybe I face in the first couple of races.
“Not only on pure speed but procedures on the steering wheel, commands, things that are new for me and I will need some time.
“I’m aware that maybe I will struggle a little bit but I want to think that they will not happen.”
Renault had hoped to run Alonso in the post-season Young Driver Test in Abu Dhabi but that was blocked by rival teams.